Goal: Community members are financially stable and independent.
• Family-sustaining employment and financial stability
• Household stability
As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising costs of food, housing, healthcare, and education; and many families struggle to just get by. In Washington County, residents identified Income Stability as the highest priority. Employers have jobs available in Washington County, but many job seekers are still unable to get hired.
Focus groups and a survey of local HR professionals revealed the top barriers to hiring and retaining qualified workers:
1. Inadequate soft skills/Not work-ready
2. Poor attendance
3. Lack of specific skills (welding, mechanical, etc.)
4. Alcohol or other drug abuse
5. Criminal background (including OWI)
6. Perception of community (commute, housing, etc.)
“Not work ready” due to “poor work ethic” was identified as the top obstacle to hiring and retaining qualified employees in Washington County. A volunteer team of local employers, educators, case managers, and community professionals joined forces to develop a strategy that will address this high-priority issue. The community is continuing to work on addressing this key issue.