Some 30 people attending the Delta County Economic Development (DCED) annual meeting on April 11 saw new board members elected, and they heard a well-researched program on education and workforce challenges being presented by members of "Generation Y."
Larry Traubel, owner of CropWorks (formerly Grand Mesa Discount in Orchard City) was newly elected to the DCED board along with John Gavin, information technology director for the Delta County Libraries.
Matt Brezonick of TerraVision chose not to seek re-election after serving six years on the board. Also, Olathe area ag producer John Harold decided to step down from DCED board duties.
DCED administrator Sarah Carlquist gave a report outlining status of the group's current support initiatives including the soil health program and annual conference, and an effort to encourage better Internet service in the county.
The evening's program was presented by Ed Rice, career and technical education coordinator for Montezuma-Cortez High School. His comments focused on the challenges to education and employers that are being presented by the workforce members of Gen-Y — those born between 1979 and 2000 and who have grown up as the computer-Internet-smartphone generation.
As might be expected, members of Gen-Y are high-tech savvy and totally wired-in. They possess an extensive suite of skills with modern communications devices and networks. But they face daunting employment prospects.
Nevertheless, according to Rice, Gen-Y'ers "feel they have a strong sense of entitlement. They want flexible work schedules, more vacations and personal time, promotion within one year of employment, and higher pay."
They "work to live, not live to work," Rice's presentation stated.
Rice told the DCI following his presentation, "There are a lot of variations and adjustments being made by employers to accommodate Gen-Y. For example, Phil Schmidt, manager at Phillips Machine, indicated his company has gone to a four-day week. This has helped them with employee retention. Flex scheduling seems to be the most sought after by Gen-Y.
"We have to stop thinking Gen-Y is just like we are (the baby boomers). They are not. They work differently and they have skills that can be very beneficial to employers. The employer needs to set a 'target' for what they want from the employee," Rice concluded.blog comments powered by Disqus