Employers say it's hard to find highly trained workers in Shiawassee County

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Owosso (WJRT) (7/18/170 Businesses in Shiawassee County are having a hard time attracting qualified workers. And the situation could get worse if a much-anticipated industrial project comes through. Employers say finding engineers who want to work in Shiawassee County can be difficult.

"I think it's because we're a small town and they believe they're not going to get the pay, the benefits, the fun part of being in a big town,"
said Charlene Hebekeuser, Tri-Mer Corporation CFO.

"We found today that compensation really isn't part of that as much as flexibility and some of the things that make you want to come to work everyday," said Jody Kerbyson, GST Michigan Works CEO.

A number of business people met Tuesday in Owosso to talk about finding and keeping good workers. As the unemployment rate drops, employers are finding it's hard to bring talented workers to Shiawassee County. Organizers today brought in speakers to talk about job benefits younger workers are looking for and how to attract talent.

Employers are also interested in the development of Project Tim in Vernon Township. Although the exact nature of the project hasn't been revealed, more than 800 high wage jobs could be created. And that would change the employment picture and talent pool considerably.

"With that type of employment what we expect is a lot of people will want to move into Shiawassee County so we need to prepare for those opportunities in terms of housing, downtown, schools and things like that. It's something we need. We need population growth in our community to help with our tax base," said Justin Horvath, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership CEO

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