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  • Writer's pictureTonja Brown

Attracting talent is not a sprint, it is a marathon

Article by Courtney Glock, Vice President, Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce...

Several years ago, the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Grow Grand Island to officially spearhead talent attraction initiatives. A formal plan was put in place to work towards strategically attracting educated individuals to the community.

Grant funding from Grow Grand Island has allowed the Chamber to offer several talent attraction opportunities that come at no cost to area businesses.

Through my work with the Chamber, I ensure Grand Island is well-represented at hiring events across the state. Whether on the local high school level or at state colleges and universities, I set up a booth to bring attention to the industries of Grand Island, job openings, community attractions, amenities and more.

My goal is to recruit on behalf of Grand Island and offer resume collection and distribution, seamlessly connecting students seeking employment to businesses hiring in our area. When a student comes to my booth, I listen to their interests, skills and career goals – then I connect them with representatives of Grand Island businesses who may be a good fit.

Even beyond the career fair, I stay in touch with the students and continue to help connect them to area businesses for internships and full-time jobs upon graduation. Connecting with students of all ages allows us to share career opportunities that exist right here in our community, reminding students that Grand Island is a great place to stay, and a great place to return to, after school.

We recognize that getting talent to move here is one hurdle; the next hurdle comes with keeping them here. When a new employee moves to the area or before they decide to relocate, I provide them with a community tour – an opportunity to hear and see Grand Island’s many hidden gems and entertainment options.

During these tours, I consider the different needs and interests of that prospective employee. For some, we spend time exploring outdoor recreation and eateries; for others, we dive into the education systems and family-friendly activities.

The Chamber also provides a relocation packet with GRAND Life materials, made possible by funding from Grow Grand Island. We created branded marketing materials to gift to the physicians, marketers, bankers, and computer software specialists alike, which they can revisit when they are looking to make an informed decision on relocation – our hope is the relocation packet made a ‘first impression’ that will keep Grand Island first on their list.

Between the relocation packets and tours, I am hoping to create a vision in that person’s mind of what life would be like if they were to move to Grand Island. Can they picture starting or raising a family here? Can they see themselves attending community events, driving around town, meeting people with common interests and passions?

The Chamber understands that talent attraction is a marathon. We want to sell our community and ensure that Grand Island isn’t just another dot on the map. Our efforts start with recruiting talented individuals to our community, but it doesn’t stop there. We want to be at the top of mind and be a destination for young talent to come, start their careers, and stay. Talent attraction efforts at all levels is vital to grow our labor force and pool of young talent in Central Nebraska.

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