March 6, 2018

Today marks the one-year anniversary that an EF3 tornado ripped through Oak Grove, Grain Valley, and parts of unincorporated Jackson and Lafayette Counties. The tornado touched down a little after 8:00 p.m., and reached top wind speeds of 152 miles per hour, and, at its largest point, was 400 yards wide. Approximately 483 homes and 12 businesses were destroyed or sustained damage.

In the 365 days since then, what has occurred has been nothing short of a miracle. I was able to be in Oak Grove about 12 hours after the tornado hit, and it was unlike anything I'd ever seen. First responders, disaster relief organizations, churches, and caring neighbors were on the scene working to aid those affected. CSL does not typically engage in disaster relief, especially on such a large scale, so this was new territory for us. While there, we learned that the home of our Oak Grove Site Manager, Gina Parr, and her husband, Rick, had been completely destroyed.

Of all the disast...

March 2, 2018

CSL tries to be very focused on the labor market, and how it affects workers. As one of the largest workforce development/job placement providers in our area, we have to be tuned in to who is growing, what skills are needed, and much more. Some things that we monitor, in terms of industry trends are:

What sectors are in-demand, and what employers in our area offer those jobs?

What industry-recognized credentials are needed to enter in-demand sectors?

What positions allow for vertical advancement?

What industries can be most easily accessed by job-seekers that lack formal skills or training?

While market conditions have lots to do with labor, there are times when public policy is involved with one or more labor sectors. On April 3, 2018, voters in Independence and Blue Springs are taking a look at the concept of adding a Use Tax in their communities, for the purpose of helping to retain local jobs and strengthen city services. If you are a Blue Springs or Independence voter, I’d encoura...

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