Forum to address state’s tightening labor pool

The Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire will present a conference Sept. 11 in Concord focusing on issues surrounding workforce availability in the state.

“Workforce Worries: Coping with New Hampshire’s Constricting Labor Pool” will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

The half-day conference – designed for chief executives, chief operating offices, human resources directors and managers, recruiters and others involved in employee hiring and retention — will examine New Hampshire’s constricting labor pool and offer practical information and approaches to help companies ease their recruitment and retention efforts.

“Business leaders all over the state tell us this has become a pressing issue,” said Jim Roche, BIA president. “Many seasoned employees are leaving the workforce for retirement at the same time that half our college graduates leave New Hampshire. If New Hampshire employers can’t find qualified employees, they’ll expand elsewhere. The long-term implications for our economy are alarming.”

Following registration and continental breakfast, the program will begin with an introduction by George Bald, commissioner of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, and a situational overview of New Hampshire’s tightening workforce by demographer Peter Francese.

A two-part general session presented by New Hampshire AARP will examine strategies for retaining and retraining older workers. Participants will then have the option to attend two of three concurrent workshops related to immigration issues such as H-1B and H-2B visas, alternative work arrangements such as flexible schedules and telecommuting, and workforce training programs aimed at making current employees more productive.

Stephen Reno, chancellor of the University System, will deliver the keynote address during lunch. Reno will discuss efforts under way in the state aimed at keeping more young people in the state, including the University System’s “55% Initiative.”

Program sponsors for Workforce Worries include the immigration law firm of GoffWilson, New Hampshire AARP and the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development. New Hampshire Business Review is media sponsor.

Cost to attend the Sept. 11 conference is $65 for BIA members and $85 for non-members. To register, call 630-224-5388, ext. 116, or visit acteva.com/go/nhbia.

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