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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nearly 300 local workforce professionals attended the first MOmentum 2015: State of the Workforce Luncheon, hosted Jan. 22 by the local Workforce Investment Board and the Missouri Career Center-Ozark Region. In addition to discussing the survey findings, attendees listened to and participated in a panel discussion by some of the top industry and education leaders in the region. “When I reviewed the MOmentum survey results and compared them to two national surveys, I was very pleased that our local survey reflects national trends and that the information validates our collective efforts to improve our community, it validates that the economy is taking a positive turn and hiring projections are expected to rise and it validates our collective concern over the skills and education gap,” said Mary Ann Rojas, director of the City of Springfield’s Workforce Development department, which includes the Career Center. “Locally, we have gained real momentum in working together and in recognizing that we have a common vision and shared purpose for economic vitality shaped by a well-trained and qualified workforce,” Rojas said. Survey highlights According to the survey, the top three occupational fields that Ozarks organizations will look to recruit from in the next five to 10 years are business, management and administration; marketing, sales and service; and information technology/computer science. Between 25% and 30% of organizations surveyed plan to hire additional full-time and/or part-time employees over the next year, while 6% to 12% anticipate layoffs. Between 40% and 50% of the organizations surveyed plan to hire additional full-time and/or part-time employees over the next three to five years, while 6% anticipate layoffs. A majority of survey respondents – 71% – reported that at least some of their jobs/positions require employees to have a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Communication skills (written, verbal and nonverbal) as well as job-specific knowledge/technical skills were the most frequently identified skill deficiencies of job applications (each mentioned by nearly half of survey respondents). Personal hygiene and appearance of job applicants was a major concern among 35% of those surveyed. More than 85% of respondents indicated that “most” or “some” of their current employees need improvement in the areas of problem solving, time management, critical thinking/decision making and leadership. An executive summary with the full survey results is available at the link below. About the survey Results from the survey are based on 368 completed online surveys of businesses and educational institutions within the seven-county Ozark Region (Greene, Taney, Christian, Webster, Polk, Dallas and Stone). The majority of organizations participating in the survey were for-profit (63%), followed by non-profit/community-based organizations (15%), educational institutions (13%) and governmental entities (9%). Fifty-one percent of participating organizations have fewer than 50 employees (full-time and part-time), 26% have between 50 and 199 employees and 23% have 200 or more employees. Organizations range in size from one employee to 13,000 employees. Survey results have a +/- 5% margin of error at the 95% confidence interval. With assistance from the WIB and Career Center, the survey was designed, administered and analyzed by Opinion Research Specialists LLC of Springfield. ### For more information about MOmentum 2015: State of the Workforce Survey, or the luncheon event, please contact Heather Hardinger at 417-841-3386.View a recording of the luncheon.