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Chamber pushes initiatives

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Concept opens up resources to smaller companies

By Carol A. Clark

 The Chamber of Commerce brought in NationJob.com CEO Ralph Hejlik Tuesday to meet with local corporations and individual business members regarding employee recruitment initiatives.

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“This is an opportunity and it’s important for our larger corporations to show leadership in this initiative,” Chamber Executive Director Kevin Holsapple said. “If this is successful, all of our smaller businesses and nonprofits will get to take advantage of these resources.”

Hejlik arrived Monday evening from Des Moines, Iowa to pursue the possibility of partnering with the chamber on this endeavor.

“The reception has been outstanding,” Hejlik said following Tuesday’s presentation at the Community Building and several subsequent meetings.

“I’m very impressed with the support I’ve seen since I’ve been here based on comments from the employers I’ve met.”

NationJob.com has been in the electronic recruiting industry for 20 years, focusing on community based recruiting. The company provides local, regional and national reach through its search engine marketing efforts and subscriber database.

“This highly relates to the county’s goal of supporting LANL as the key economic engine,” Holsapple said. “Under this program we can much better answer questions from trailing spouses – we can refer them to one place to view an entire list of jobs and meet one of our goals of making Los Alamos the community people want to live in who come here to work.”

Holsapple explained why the chamber is looking into a possible partnership with NationJob.com  

“All of this is driven by our business development work under the contract we have with Los Alamos County,” he said. “Potential businesses tell us they get that we have highly skilled people but ask how many we have who would be interested in working for their company.”

A major barrier to enticing businesses to open facilities in Los Alamos is that statistics indicate there is currently 1.7 jobs per person in the workforce and slightly more than a 3 percent unemployment rate, he said. Those statistics are not attractive to companies that would need to fill a number of positions. Holsapple explained that  a survey showed that more than a third of the local workforce in place indicated that they would be interested in knowing what other opportunities might be available, Holsapple said, adding that there is an anonymous process for job seekers to connect with potential employers through this program. That data could be mined and used in economic development efforts to show potential businesses that there are qualified people interested in new job opportunities.