Most cities in the U.S. would love to brag about Salt Lake City’s unemployment numbers, but it also presents a challenge for us to solve. Our business owners are tasked with hiring and retaining skilled workers. Companies looking to relocate have expressed concern over finding the workforce to fill their hundreds or thousands of jobs.
“Salt Lake City’s businesses need more one-on-one help to solve their workforce challenges – we are committed to helping them hire and retain employees,” says Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development Director Lara Fritts, “We have identified the need for a point person to coordinate all efforts to make sure it happens.”
Enter new hire Jake Maxwell, our Workforce Development Manager. This is an important role for the City, Jake will be:
- Leading conversations around workforce development and tying those activities to goals
- Developing more partnerships for training opportunities and business intelligence, like the new Wespointe Center by SLCC
- Promoting existing resources
- Promoting the Career Pathways Program
- Assist underemployed
Part of Jake’s activities will center on the collection and management of business and economic data; and acting as liaison with business resources and related organizations in Salt Lake City. The experience he brings to the table will make for a smooth transition — he worked for the State of Utah Department of Workforce Services for the past 9 years. While there he served in a variety of roles and programs designed to prepare and connect Utah’s Workforce to employers. More recently, he focused specifically on homeless initiatives and developed a comprehensive understanding of Salt Lake City homelessness, housing, and wage issues while building a large network of partnerships to support that initiative.
Jake was built for workforce development. He is fascinated with sociological phenomena, populations, and people doing what they do. Get him talking about tax credits and tax reform workforce strategies, and he won’t stop. He loved his experience working on the Operation Rio Grande Phase 3, adding “I was able to play an integral role in the Dignity of Work effort – connecting employers to individuals experiencing homelessness while meeting Salt Lake City’s job demand.”
In his spare time, Jake loves being outside. He can be found pedaling a bike year-round or spending time with his family. He is dedicated to “the ridiculous things and time I spend as a new dad getting a smile out of my daughter”. He enjoys backpacking, photography, art, music, traveling, and is an amateur documentary filmmaker. Did we mention bikes? He loves anything related to cycling, the geometrical challenge of and restoration of vintage bikes. Also, he likes bikes. With his very dry and sarcastic sense of humor, he will fit right in.
Welcome to the team, Jake! We’re glad you’re here!!