Free forum to be held for discussing Hampton Roads workforce shortages, talent strategy

A new six-month study of the workforce gap and talent alignment strategy for Hampton Roads will be released at a free forum next week.

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Hampton Roads Workforce Council are hosting an “Understanding Hampton Roads” breakfast forum in Chesapeake to present the three-part 2019 Talent Alignment Strategy.

The report, which highlights the region’s growing labor shortage and a proposal for developing and retaining talent, was done by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning in Chicago and Avalanche Consulting Inc. in Austin.

Although the working age population has increased by just 9,600 people, more than 30,00 new jobs have been created in the region over the past five years, according to information released by the community foundation.

Some of the report’s key findings echo many of those that have been conducted in the region: a growing labor shortage, dependence on contract labor, a diverse workforce, fewer children in the population, improved career training, and an increased demand in computer and information technology-related employees.

Other findings include an increase in the number of bachelor’s degrees received by the workforce, a lack of job diversity in the private sector, a restricted amount of affordable housing, and lack of transportation options.

A panel of regional business leaders, educators and city officials will discuss the study’s meaning for Hampton Roads after the presentation.

The forum will start at 7:30 a.m. June 25 at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Admission is free but participants must register at 757-622-7951 or hrworkforcegap.eventbrite.com.