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Appendix: Employer Survey

Business Operations

1. Compared to 12 months ago, how would you describe your current business performance in terms of revenue and sales? 2. How would you rate your company’s financial health/profitability? 3. How would you rate the financial health/profitability of your company’s industry? 4. Please rate your expected business performance in terms of revenue and sales over the next 12 months. 5. What are your expectations for your company’s growth over the next five years? 6. Which, if any, sources of information used by other business executives to forecast employment needs in the St. Louis area do you use? 7. In the past 12 months, has your access to credit for business operations changed? 8. Which one of the following do you see as the greatest challenge to the continued growth of your company?

a. Inadequate facilities b. Access to capital c. Availability of qualified labor d. Government regulations e. Slow research developments f. Lack of technological innovations g. Lack of local suppliers h. Inadequate transportation

Employment

1. Over the next 12 months, how will the current employment levels of your business change? 2. What barriers, if any, do you face in expanding your employment?

a. Shortage of workers with knowledge or skills b. Shortage of available training programs c. Economic conditions d. Government policies or regulations e. Lack of information f. Lack of access to transportation to get to work g. Lack of access to child care

3. If you were to add employees in the next 12 months, which of the following methods would you be likely to use?

a. Recalling workers from a lay-off list b. Hiring new full time employees c. Hiring part time employees d. Hiring contract employees e. Using a temporary agency

4. How difficult is it to find qualified job applicants? 5. Which, if any, are the shortcomings of recent job applicants?

a. Poor work ethic b. Communication/interpersonal skills c. Willingness and ability to learn d. Basic math skills e. Writing skills f. Understanding written and graphical information g. Teamwork and collaboration h. Critical thinking and problem-solving i. General knowledge of business or industry j. Technical skills specific to the job k. Lack of computer skills

Skills

1. What percentages of your company’s positions require the following skill levels?

a. Low b. Middle c. High

2. For each skill level, how do you anticipate your company’s workforce skills changing over the next five years? 3. How would you rate the St. Louis metropolitan area for finding applicants with the skills required for each skill level of your workforce? 4. What methods do you use to help workers address your company’s needs for new or increased skill requirements?

a. In-house classroom training b. On-the-job training c. Vendor training d. Apprenticeship programs e. Community college courses f. Vocational training g. College degree (Associate or higher) h. Hire only workers who are already trained

Benefits

1. What benefits and training opportunities are offered by your company? 2. What financial incentives are offered by your company? 3. In the next 12 months are you going to hire new employees? 4. Will there be a change in the fringe benefits package for the new hires? 5. Has the cost of benefits that you offer employees gone up? 6. Are you offering a competitive compensation and benefits package to your employees compared to your competitors?

Current and Future Employees

1. How many employees does your company currently employ in the St. Louis Metro area? 2. What is the average age of your company’s workforce? 3. How many of your employees do you anticipate will retire in the next year? 4. At what age have employees in your company retired in the past five years?