The City of Monroe recently hosted 80 leaders in government, business and nonprofit sectors as part of a two-day symposium to address barriers to hiring for manufacturing businesses in the City.
The Mayor’s Symposium for Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy officially launched the learning phase of the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy during a two-day event on October 25-26 at the Fire Station #4 community room and the Dowd Center Theatre. The event included workshops, collaborative discussions and listening sessions with visiting leaders from the National League of Cities and the US Department of Labor. The City of Monroe is one of only 16 cities selected to participate in the nationwide initiative.
“It was inspiring to see so many voices of the community focused on one single issue, from business leaders to our service agency partners and even our City department leaders,” said Mayor Marion Holloway. “It shows how powerful our community can be when we align everyone around one issue and get everyone working toward a shared goal.”
The first day of the symposium was held in the Fire Station #4 community room. It featured 35 representatives from various community nonprofits, service providers, faith communities, educators, the City of Monroe and other government agencies.
“The conversation focused on critical issues such as transportation barriers, challenges to accessing child and elder care and the difficulties Monroe residents face in transitioning from support programs to full employment,” said Teresa Campo, City of Monroe Community Development Coordinator. “These are not new challenges, but for the first time, we have community-wide alignment on where we should start. It’s a huge accomplishment.”
On Thursday, October 26, business leaders representing approximately 40 different manufacturing companies in Monroe and Union County gathered together to learn more about the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy and hear from the National League of Cities and US Department of Labor and other community leaders about efforts to create skills pathways for residents. As part of the event, these business leaders conducted roundtable discussions where they shared their challenges in hiring qualified workers, identified common problems and proposed potential solutions to City leaders.
“This is the first time our business community has been given the opportunity to convene in this way to collaborate with City leaders on hiring challenges,” said Mark Watson, Monroe’s City Manager. “It represents the future of how partnerships in Monroe can and should happen. We are already planning how to gather these groups again in the coming months.”
The Symposium concluded with a listening tour for representatives from the National League of Cities and the US Department of Labor to learn more about Monroe’s manufacturing firms and models for apprenticeship through South Piedmont Community College.
To learn more about Monroe’s local participation as a Good Jobs, Great Cities Destination City and its project goals, please visit https://www.monroenc.org/goodjobsgreatcities.
To learn more about the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy and the National League of Cities, please visit https://www.nlc.org/initiative/good-jobs-great-cities.