The Talent Tap Dance: Making the Right Moves for Workforce Development


ROCKFORD, Nov. 4 — The Talent Tap Dance was held on October 28th at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center. The event was attended by 95 people and 62 companies were represented. The program provided specifications that attendees discussed onsite, and can then build upon at their workplace, to generate productivity and profitability with a dynamic workforce.

Attracting, retaining, and developing workforce is a cornerstone of accelerating business growth, which plays a significant role in the economic development of the Rockford Region. The challenges with workforce are well known, and so the next step is to start solving them. This event was especially designed for attendees to obtain useful, tangible tools that can be built upon for strengthening workforce and in turn, company growth. Participants learned from other business leaders who’ve expanded their businesses with a successful approach to hiring, training, and retaining employees. They also met with professionals who have proven systems that help to achieve these goals.

Terrance Hall, international trade and business development specialist for the RAEDC said, “At this point it is well documented that workforce development is our business community’s largest common challenge. This event is aimed at introducing common solutions to those challenges. Solutions that world-class companies have found to be not only valuable but very successful. Solutions that a company of any size or industry can implement immediately if they find them a good fit for their organization.”

The Keynote Speaker was Woodward Vice President of Human Resources June Hazzard. She discussed Woodward’s unique approach to hiring and training, which can be adapted as a template at companies of all sizes.

A Panel Discussion with local business leaders inspired attendees with innovative ideas from their peers, followed by a Q&A:
          • Paul Calvagna – Human Resources Manager of Accuride Wheel End Solutions
          • Bill Derry – Chairman of Field
          • LoRayne Logan – President of Workplace Staffing
          • Don Schreiner – CEO of Rockford Orthopedic Associates
          • June Hazzard – VP of Human Resources of Woodward

Six Breakout Sessions featured topics of interest for area employers. The sessions will be led by professionals in those areas of expertise, to assist attendees build their workforce toolkit:
          1. Selling Your Company & The Rockford Region
          2. Competing for Talent as a Small Business
          3. Right People in the Right Seats
          4. Workforce Readiness
          5. ROI- Training & Development
          6. Culture Fit & Core Values

The event was coordinated by the Business Retention & Expansion Team of the RAEDC.

The sponsors included: OSF HealthCare (presenting sponsor), Workplace, Larson & Darby Group, and Stillman Bank.

  OSF Healthcare logo  
workplace Larson Darby logo Stillman Bank logo


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