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  • Career Gaps Pose Concern for 36% of US Employers, Yet 95% Acknowledge Valid Explanations
    by Mara McCloskey-Becker on May 29, 2024 at 11:26 pm

    Health Issues, Caregiving and Schooling Acceptable Latest Results from The Harris Poll Although sizable unexplained work gaps (36%) may deter some U.S. hiring managers from interviewing applicants, an overwhelming majority (95%) of decision-makers recognize valid reasons for such interruptions. This is according to a recent Express Employment Professionals-Harris Poll survey. On the other side of the situation, surveyed job seekers say they are worried about long-term employment but also believe there are acceptable reasons for candidates to have large gaps on resumes, including: Health Issues — 73% hiring managers; 74% job seekers Staying Home with a Child — 68% hiring managers; 66% job seekers Going to School — 68% hiring managers; 65% job seekers Caring for an Elderly Parent — 67% hiring managers; 67% job seekers Trying to Switch Careers — 45% hiring managers; 41% job seekers Not Liking Working in Their Past Industry — 23% hiring managers; 18% job seekers These reasons are more likely to be found to be acceptable by female job seekers compared to men, while sentiments are equal for female/male hiring managers.   Re-Entering the Workforce After Caregiving “Hiring managers should be receptive to many of these real-life situations because they don’t indicate complacency,” said Neil McMillan, an Express franchise owner in California. “The candidate was doing something of value for themselves or others.” One of the most common reasons for taking time away from careers is caregiving as 100 million U.S. adults “function as caregivers, providing care for a child, parent or other relative.” How this gap is perceived by employers depends, according to Kim Sullivan, an Express franchise owner in Wisconsin. “Someone who did graphic design 15 years ago might be very out of touch with the technological advances in that field,” she said. “On the other hand, I don’t know that packaging, production or forklift driving has changed that much in the past decade. If it has been a long break, I think the candidate should expect a lower pay rate until they prove themselves a bit.” McMillan seconds this. “Taking a step back from the workforce to be a caregiver is acceptable, as long as it doesn’t result in eroded skills,” he said. Sullivan adds that historically, caregiving duties that lead to time away from the workplace disproportionately affected mothers, but that seems to be evolving. “Many years ago, the ‘norm’ was for mothers to stay home, and the fathers worked,” she said. “I think that is changing. Now, both caregivers are looking for more flexibility to share the responsibilities of earning money and raising children.” Due to low unemployment levels and a big shortage of talent, having both parents work is critical to the success of the economy, McMillan added. “Where possible, employers should consider the challenges faced with regards to childcare and commutes,” he said. “Managers could try to offer flexible schedules and hybrid or remote work opportunities where possible and as long as it makes business sense.” It can be easy to overlook candidates without a linear work history, but that could be a mistake, according to Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller. “For even the most dedicated employee, life interruptions happen,” he said. “Hiring managers might miss out on the ideal candidate by simply evaluating them on paper. If the applicant has the proper skills and appears to be a cultural fit, it’s worth bringing them in for further evaluation and a possible employment offer.” Survey Methodology The Job Insights survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, 2023, among 1,007 U.S. hiring decision-makers. The Job Seeker Report was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals from Nov. 9 to 26, 2023, among 1,002 adults ages 18 and older. For full survey methodologies, please contact Sheena.Hollander@ExpressPros.com, Director of Corporate Communications & PR.

  • Commonalities Will Influence Our Vote by Katy Brooks
    by Mara McCloskey-Becker on May 29, 2024 at 11:01 pm

    We are used to bootstrapping it on the east side of the Cascades, as evidenced in our transformation from a mill town to one of the highest-employment-per capita regions in the state. It took all of us working together to make that happen. As we enter the election season, it’s important to remember our lessons of collaboration while respecting each other’s wide-ranging views. But with all the vitriol that national politics are injecting into the media, voters need to understand our common ground when communicating with each other and our future elected leaders who are running for office.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Recent research by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center , a nonprofit, nonpartisan polling organization highlights overlapping interests of Central Oregonians that will likely influence our votes this year. Last fall, the center worked with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council on a study specific to Central Oregon. Their State-of-the-Region survey provided the intergovernmental council with data that showed we have much in common, what is important to us, and how we are diverse in our perceptions. Topping the list in this research was concern for our natural environment. Central Oregon’s influx of new residents and visitors and a growing threat of wildfire and strain on water resources helped put our natural environment at the top, scoring 43% of responses. Next came how we value our community spirit, at 38% — something to note for any change agent or would-be elected official. People here want to get involved, have their voices heard, and participate in the direction of the community. However, the survey also showed that a threat to eroding this community spirit is the growing divide in personal economic situations such as housing and cost of living impacts. Across the political spectrum, Central Oregonians also have commonalities in their perceptions of how government serves us. Most want the government to step in on wildfire protection, public safety and natural area preservation. They also generally want the government to support workforce development, mental health, child care, housing affordability, water management and lowering the cost of living. Current and would-be elected officials will hear this from voters in the coming months. Not surprisingly, 35% of respondents put personal independence as a high value. Central Oregonians may be interested in similar issues, but we want them to align with our individual values. This research contributed to additional work OVBC conducted to identify the common and individual values of 3,000 Oregonian respondents. Their “typology report” defined eight distinct value categories for Oregonians. Those categories break many of our self-defined molds of who we are and our perceptions of important values. It turns out that our opinions are much deeper than common definitions of liberals or conservatives. Oregonians have unexpected overlapping alliances in how we view the government’s role, how we should address poverty, whether we are better off than last year, our opinion of diversity and equal rights, how we feel about the environment and other personal values. Although this research provides insight into how Oregonian values differ and align, incorporating those values into actual policymaking is complex and difficult. But it can work. An example is the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project. Their work brings together “strange bedfellows” —including environmentalists, businesspeople, professional foresters, research scientists, loggers, private landowners, elected officials, tribal members, recreationists and government policymakers — to find ways to protect our forests. Through ongoing work, they found common ground in the values that unite these diverse and often contentious groups — values rooted in the lifestyle and special places we all treasure in our local forests. The solutions and strategies led to real progress in protecting and preserving our natural landscape and community. As an advocate for business, the Bend Chamber is deeply interested in values and beliefs center’s research. Our key initiatives include workforce housing, affordable child care and workforce development. We see how Central Oregonians’ values could influence how we approach these issues, why they are important, and how they may affect legislation and policy.

  • Child Care Infrastructure Fund Updates
    by Mara McCloskey-Becker on May 29, 2024 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you for your patience as we’ve been working on the Child Care Infrastructure Fund (CCIF). We have made A LOT of progress towards opening our first round of funds. Our partners at the Department of Early Learning and Care will be hosting a recorded informational webinar soon (date TBD) to introduce applicants to the agencies who will be providing technical assistance. We will be sharing more updates on a regular basis to add details and clarify the application process. For now, here are four broad updates for the CCIF program: The first round of funding will consist of $10 million to distribute to providers throughout Oregon. We hope that providers from every county in Oregon will apply for these grant funds. We anticipate that we will have an application ready early on this summer and will let you know as soon as we have a firm date. A second round of funding will become available late 2024. These funds are limited to fixed and immovable assets. We have four different project types, each with specific minimum and maximum funding amounts you can apply for. They are: Planning Projects (up to $75,000) Minor Renovation and Repairs ($20,000–$100,000) New Construction or Major Renovation (over $100,000–$2,000,000) Property Acquisition ($20,000–$2,000,000) We want everyone who is eligible and interested to apply for this grant. However, this will be a competitive process. We have developed prioritization criteria, which includes: Culturally specific organizations or early learning programs Programs expanding or creating new child care slots Programs expanding or offering infant and toddler care Programs in the most severe child care deserts, using state child care desert data Programs that offer extended hour care Programs that accept subsidy such as Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Programs that operate full day (at least six hours per day), and full year (approximately 136 hours a month or 1,632 hours a year) Programs that can demonstrate readiness to proceed and are able to spend funds quickly (all funds distributed in this round MUST be spent by May 2027) Programs that are able to demonstrate long term sustainability Below is a list of the application information you could begin to gather. Required attachments will vary based on project and applicant type and may include the following: Project description, including the problem you are addressing and how the proposed project will solve this problem Contractor bids (2-3) Up to ten photos of the proposed project site (please do not include children in photos) Central Background Registry documentation for new providers Property appraisals (for acquisition projects only) Proof of site control – this may include a lease agreement, rental agreement, deed, property tax statement or mortgage payment coupon (LOIs or MOUs may be considered) If leasing or renting the property, written approval from the property owner for construction/renovations to be performed If the applicant is a non-profit with tax-exempt status, they must give proof of their 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(5) status. Applicants who have applied to become nonprofits with the Internal Revenue Service may submit proof of application Additional attachments for projects over $100,000: Detailed map showing the location of the project, including tax lots/parcels and zoning designations The study conducted to determine the feasibility of the project, or any preliminary architectural/engineering/planning work that has been completed Plans and specifications for the project Documentation from the city or county planning agency that indicates the project is consistent with acknowledged local comprehensive plan and land use regulations o Funding letters of commitment, if applicable

  • Bend Chamber Receives National Recognition as Finalist for Chamber of the Year
    by Mara McCloskey-Becker on May 29, 2024 at 9:58 pm

    The Bend Chamber of Commerce has been named a finalist for the 2024 Chamber of the Year award, presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). ACCE is an association based in Alexandria, Va., with over 1,600 chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations as members, representing more than 9,000 professionals in the industry.  The award, sponsored by GrowthZone, is the most prestigious and competitive recognition presented annually by ACCE. It recognizes the leadership role chambers of commerce have in their communities. Those honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have demonstrated organizational strength and impacted key community priorities, such as education, transportation, economic prosperity and quality of life.  “This year’s finalists represent the best in the chamber industry,” said Sheree Anne Kelly, ACCE president & CEO. “They are community leaders and innovators, driving growth and regional prosperity. We congratulate them on this outstanding achievement.”  Chamber of the Year winners will be announced on Wednesday, July 17, during the Awards Show at ACCE’s Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas.    “We are excited to be counted as a top chamber in the country,” said Katy Brooks, Bend Chamber CEO. “As advocates for Bend’s businesses and our local economy, we have worked hard to address impacts of rapid population growth, including housing costs, lack of childcare, and a cohesive, connected labor force.”   Chambers of commerce interested in competing for the award first must qualify by participating in a vigorous multi-stage process. Organizations entering the Chamber of the Year competition must meet minimum thresholds in at least three of five key performance areas in ACCE’s Annual Chamber Operations Survey, including net revenue and assets, membership account retention and membership dollar retention.  Qualifying chambers enter the competition with a written application addressing all organizational operation and programmatic work aspects. Applications are scored by peer chamber executives to determine finalists. Winners are selected from among finalists based on an interview before a panel of experienced chamber professionals.  To ensure the fairest competition, applicants are grouped into four categories based on annual revenue, membership, area population and other factors. 

  • Ribbon Cutting Showcase for Family Resource Center of Central Oregon
    by Mara McCloskey-Becker on May 28, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    We’re pleased to showcase the ribbon cutting ceremony for Family Resource Center of Central Oregon’s new Bend location! Family Resource Center of Central Oregon and is celebrating 30 years of helping families by providing support services for any parent or caregiver through educational opportunities, home visits, and family fun activities. For more informations visit: https://frconline.org/ Contact: (541) 389-5468 ### If you are a Chamber member and would like to talk about holding a ribbon cutting, please contact Kathleen Quinney, Events and Admin Coordinator, kathleen@bendchamber.org. The Chamber will provide materials, photos and a short video and will promote your ribbon cutting on social media and our website.

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