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Keeping Talent in Somerset County

Keeping Talent in Somerset County

SOMERSET COUNTY, Md. - Keeping talented professionals in the area is key to economic growth. 

It's a problem across many counties on Delmarva and  has local leaders like Molly Hilligoss looking for solutions  and even pointing fingers.   

"First of all they have to think about who their targeting. So these kids that they want to go there. They are taking in all this information on these handheld devices and everything. So they need to reach these kids in a different way."

Wor Wic Community College says keeping talent in the area is something they view as a priority. 


Which is why they've increased training programs in the area that will get students right into the workforce  with a new satellite program in Somerset County.  

"We're actually taking our certified nursing assistant training that's normally offered here on campus and our clinical sites in Wicomico County to McCready hospital on-site."

But some officials, like Garland Hayward, in Somerset County agree that more needs to be done;  especially in their neck of the woods. 

"This is something that we have to make our top priority. When I saw we, I mean the local government county government and state government and federal government working together in collaboration with one another."

Leaders in the town of Princess Anne say one of the things that could be done to keep talent in Somerset County is to attract more businesses to this industrial park area.

Hilligoss says it would be a great thing to get people involved on the skilled trades.

"It's an issue because there are opportunities out there in the skill trades. They could be earning at least 15 dollars or more an hour." 

Somerset County Public Schools says they're aware of the problem and working on ways keep skilled teachers in the system.  

District official, Beth Whitelock say tuition reimbursement and mentoring programs for employees go a long way toward retaining talent. 

"We have a new teacher orientation  program that includes several days of on the job before school training where they will meet with veteran educators who will give them helpful tips about how to have a successful year."

But until those efforts yield results officials like Hayward believe the trend of talent leaving will continue.     

"This is something that has been going on for years now. Our youth don't have the industries and businesses to. keep them here so they move to other places."

Wor-Wic College works closely with the Somerset County Economic Development agency and the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance to coordinate training for Delmarva workers free of charge.

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