Finding a good employee isn’t always easy. And finding a qualified employee can be even tougher.

To cope with these challenges the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce will host a forum, Tues. night, of representatives from the Arizona Workforce Connection, the REPAC Consortium and the Workforce Investment Act to discuss how resources such as grants can be used to grow employment needs for small business.

“These services can help save small businesses a lot of money,” said Chamber of Commerce Director Terri Kingery.

Kingery explained how staffing services could be a big drain on small company budgets.

“They want 10 to 15 percent of an employee’s annual income to find a worker,” she said.

She said these companies often offer a window of guarantee time, such as 90 days, but the cost still goes to the company whether the employee stays with the company or not.

“If you’re paying $25,000, that’s $2,500-$3,000 up front. The staffing company keeps the money if it doesn’t work out,” she said.

She said that instead of hiring a headhunter or staffing service to find employees, there are programs that find, screen and interview candidates before they send them to an employer. These programs help take the work out of the hiring process, she said.

And for the employer who has the employee, but can’t afford to train them, there is money available to help advance their skills.

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Retraining employees can be costly, but there are grant monies available for that purpose.

“Say you have an employee, and you want to promote them, but they need to be retrained,” Kingery said. “There are grant dollars out there to pay to retrain them.”

Finally, an issue that many employers don’t want to talk about, but must face from time to time, is lay offs. The seminar will educate employers on how to cope with dislocated workers.

“These programs can save an employer thousands of dollars,” Kingery said.

The event will take place at the Maricopa Chamber Of Commerce offices, 45138 W Garvey, Unit B, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fee is $10 for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. For more information about the event, contact Terri Kingery at (520) 568-2844.

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