Recruiting workers to Montana - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Recruiting workers to Montana

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Workforce industry experts tell us the labor force locally, statewide, nationally and globally is not growing as it was in the past.

BillingsWorks Director Brittney Souza tells us employers are challenged when it comes to recruiting qualified workers into our state. BillingsWorks partners with Big Sky Economic Development.

Souza says businesses are competing for the same labor pool, not just locally and statewide, but regionally as well, with Denver and Salt Lake City. Souza says right now in Yellowstone County, 30% of the workforce is over the age of 56.

She says those Baby Boomers will be retiring soon. Souza tells us projections for Billings and statewide show double the number of people who will have to fill those jobs first. She says that affects growth as employers are just replacing jobs just to maintain, then there's the challenge of finding additional workers.

We reached out to hospitals to get their take on recruiting workers.

St. Vincent Healthcare released the following statement:

"In recruiting physicians, the challenge we face is getting the attention of the segment of physicians and their families that would be attracted to the benefits of living in Billings.  This is especially true for high demand low supply physician specialties, who are inundated with offers from a variety of attractive opportunities.  This is compounded by the fact that most physicians spend a significant amount of their training time, and many times develop their life partner relationships, in an urban environment.

We are most successful with natives of Montana wanting to return to Montana.  We leverage the immense value with the University of Washington WWAMI regional medical education program, a partnership which trains native Montana medical students.  These students typically spend their pre-med years with the high quality science curriculums from the Montana’s institutions of higher education before spending their initial medical school education experiences in Seattle.  They then return for many of their training rotations back in Montana.  Also, the in-state physician residencies at RiverStone and Billings Clinic, the Physician Assistant training program at Rocky Mountain College, and the Nurse Practitioner program of the Montana State University system also are incredibly valuable in providing trained providers in Montana.

We are also finding success with physicians and families looking for an attractive less urban lifestyle or work closer to abundant outdoor recreational activities.  Fortunately, there is a lot of positives we can offer in attracting physicians.  Billings is a friendly family oriented community with immense opportunities for a wide variety of options for recreation and socialization.  Our medical community, with two of the Truven Top 100 hospitals in the country offer a wide spectrum of medical services with  strong, high quality and collegial medical staffs.  The size of the community continues to evolve more diverse cultural options that appeal to those accustomed to a more urban environment, yet with far less hassle for accessing these options.  Billings has a travel friendly airport with non-stop service to eight major cities, lower crime rate, much more reasonable time and energy in commuting to work or school."  - Scot A. Gudger, Vice President, St. Vincent Physicians

Billings Clinic released the following statement:

"As the largest employer in Yellowstone County, Billings Clinic is continuously recruiting new talent to join our organization. In order to reach the new generation of employees, Billings Clinic’s recruitment tools include technology such as social media to communicate with potential candidates both locally and across the country. Additionally, Billings Clinic offers competitive wages, a comprehensive benefit package, and an incentive program that encourages current staff to refer their friends and family to Billings Clinic for hard-to-fill positions." - Karla Stauffer, Billings Clinic Executive Director of People Resources

Workforce industry experts also say nowadays job seekers decide first where they want to live, then they look for a job. Industry experts tell us one attraction job seekers like in the Treasure State is our microbreweries.

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