QC Chamber’s talent forum goes virtual

A Quad Cities business forum to address the region’s workforce shortages has been changed to a virtual event.

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce will present the Talent Business Forum from 8-9:15 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20. The online event now is free to attend. A link will be included in the registration confirmation.

Jennifer Walker, the Quad Cities Chamber’s marketing and sales vice president, said the change to a virtual meeting was done for a variety of reasons. She added that the topic of attracting more workers is such an important issue that it was decided to make the event virtual so more people across the region could attend, and offer free admission.

During the forum, a group of local, state and national experts will share views on the causes of the current workforce shortage. They also will discuss innovative ways to attract and keep workers.

Jim Morgan

The scheduled keynote speaker will be Jim Morgan, vice president at Business Development & Workforce Strategies. Mr. Morgan will present “Solutions 2022: Surviving the Great Sansdemic.” (The word “sansdemic” means without people.)

“The talent shortage is real, not only skills but bodies, and it is crippling business growth. And yesterday’s recruitment and retention practices simply won’t work anymore,” the chamber said.

The presentation will focus on:

  • ​The numbers behind the talent shortage: What are the underlying factors causing the great sansdemic?
  • Effective approaches to a positive candidate experience: How have employers changed their candidate experience to be faster, on brand and candidate friendly? 
  •  A winning onboarding experience: What are companies doing to re-engineer their onboarding process to ensure positive first, second and third impressions? 
  • An engaging employee experience: Having secured people, how are companies changing the employee experience to keep them engaged and motivated at work? 
  • Top Ten talent attraction strategies: Where in the world are businesses going to find talent?

In addition, there will be a panel made up of:

  • Julio Rodriguez, deputy director, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. He leads the management and oversight of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a U.S. Department of Labor program administered by the state.
  • Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. She has supervised various workforce services at the state agency.
  • Lura McBride, president & CEO, Van Meter Inc. 

For more information or to register, contact Terri Smith, the chamber’s event coordinator, at (563) 823-2694 or [email protected].


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