Symposium marks launch of Queens Wins!

The November 16th Workforce Symposium represented the launch of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s new initiative: Queens WINs! (Workforce Initiative Now!).

In early 2018, the Foundation partnered with the Queens Chamber of Commerce to conduct research in the area of workforce development. This was prompted by Queens businesses’ frustrations with recruiting and retaining qualified staff, as well as the growing attention paid to the value of workforce development by government leaders and business groups.

The goals of the research were to determine Queens businesses’ greatest workforce-related challenges and the best role for the Queens Chamber of Commerce Foundation in the workforce development realm.

The research included a survey of Queens businesses and interviews with workforce training programs, college career offices, workforce experts and those representing major industry sectors of Queens. The Foundation is now launching Queens WINs! in response to the research results. Queens WINs! will:

• Seek to become a primary workforce resource for Queens businesses large and small, providing information and connecting Queens-based workforce entities. Because so many resources already exist, Queens WINs! will aim to increase awareness of these resources among Queens businesses and facilitate connections. Activities will include forums and roundtables, as well as the offering of new and expanded online resources.

• Provide businesses—especially small businesses—with human resource-related information, such as hiring resources, legal and compliance information and more.

• Launch a pilot internship program to strengthen the talent pipeline in Queens. The Foundation would emphasize placement at small business locations and plans to explore working with bilingual job seekers.

For more information about Queens WINs!, please contact Ellen Young, Consulting Program Manager, at ellenhelps@gmail.com.