An event aimed at gaining and retaining employees in Grey Bruce is set to take place this week in Owen Sound.
"It's a struggle that we're all facing," says Grey County Economic Development Manager Savanna Myers, "It absolutely is our number one challenge."
Myers feels the community needs to focus on bringing people in and keeping them, "Attraction and retention are so important. We can't do one without the other."
Business owners and anyone else who may be interested, are welcome to the event which is organized by RBC and called "Gain and Retain Employees In Grey and Bruce Counties."
Myers says according to the Four County Labour Market Planning Board, the Bruce Grey Huron Perth area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province.
"That means we are working. We don't have the people available. We need to attract people in, but we also need to retain them because we also know, looking at migration patterns that there are a lot of people who come to the region, but they arent' staying," says Myers.
She says skilled trades are huge here, from Bruce Power's massive refurbishment project and the suppliers that have arrived in the area to other local business that are also expanding.
She also says there's a need for healthcare workers like nurses and personal support workers (PSWs)
"We're poised for more growth, so we really need to start thinking about this now, because if we're struggling now, we don't want to get to a point in the next couple of years where it's going to be scary."
Myers says the County plans to launch an attraction and retention campaign for 2020 aimed at high school students, those in post-secondary school and people aged 25-35.
Myers wants teens to know about opportunities in Grey Bruce, "They really don't have to leave their backyard,' says Myers, adding "They can walk into the positions that we have because there are a lot of retirements coming down the pipeline."
For the 25 to 35 age bracket, Myers says they'll pitch the possibility of doing more than just visiting the area, "What if you did come here to actually live and work and not just visit?"
There will be three talks on Wednesday, (Oct 8th) from RBC, the County, and The Agency (an employment agency).
An RBC expert will talk about the impact of employee loss and turnover. The Agency's Adam Guay will talk about how to write a compelling job ad. Savanna Myers will talk more about Grey's plan and highlight important local stats.
Doors open at Galaxy Cinemas Owen Sound at 7:45 and the talks take place from 8:30 to 9:30.