Hiring and Retention Event Focuses on Talent Solutions

By Spokane Workforce Council

Photo courtesy Spokane Workforce Council

Hiring and retaining talent is one of the most critical challenges that businesses face today. We recently hosted a hiring and retention event to help bring together more than 100 industry experts, business leaders, and HR professionals to discuss the state of talent, employee retention, company culture, and the best strategies to find and develop talent.

The event started with two informative and engaging sessions. Drew Repp, representing Lightcast, presented a data-driven analysis to help attendees better understand the current labor force and make informed policy decisions. Dr. Patrick Jones, from Eastern Washington University, followed up with an insightful discussion on the importance of recognizing the diverse range of talent in our region and how to effectively recruit, attract and retain such talent. Dr. Jones also highlighted the significance of supporting underrepresented groups in the workforce and tapping into the previously overlooked talent pools to help address the regional talent shortages.

Photo courtesy Spokane Workforce Council

Following the insightful presentations from Drew Repp and Dr. Patrick Jones, the event moved on to an interactive session on employee retention and company culture. Paul Read, publisher of the Spokane Journal of Business, led the conversation with industry experts John Bryant from No-Li and Greg Larson from Bisson Printing. The session highlighted the significance of cultivating a welcoming work culture that attracts top talent and offered practical strategies for retaining the best employees.

The next interactive session moderated by our CEO Mark Mattke featured Kyle McCarthy from The Davenport Hotel Collection and Julie Orchard from Providence discussing the best strategies to find talent. Both are very experienced HR professionals and shared best practices for developing new talent and innovative ways to engage with different talent pools in our community.

The mid-morning keynote from Charlotte Nemec, Canopy Credit Union’s President/CEO, was an impressionable keynote speech on how to find talent where none exists. Charlotte highlighted the importance of taking an unconventional approach to recruitment and actively attracting candidates. Her speech provided businesses with a list of ideas to implement.

Next up on the packed agenda was a panel discussion on the best strategies to develop talent moderated by GSI’s Vice President of Education & Talent Dr. Christi Harter. Katie MacKay from MacKay Manufacturing, Jennifer Koenig from Robert Half Staffing, and Nicole Sohn from Journey Discovery Center shared their insights and experiences in developing and retaining talent in creative ways.

The event concluded with a final lineup of speakers who discussed best practices, resources, strategies, and solutions that are available community-wide to the attendees. The speakers included GSI’s Matthew Himlie, Numerica Credit Union’s Kristie Holzer, and our very own Kevin Williams who is the Division Executive of Systems Advancement for the WorkSource Spokane One-Stop Campus.

Ultimately the Hiring and Retention Strategies event was a success, providing attendees with valuable insights and strategies to address the talent shortage. The event emphasized the importance of creating an inviting company culture, actively attracting candidates, and developing new talent. Attendees left the event equipped with practical solutions and resources to overcome their talent challenges.

Thank you to our champion event sponsors, including STCU, Merit, Career Connect Northeast fueled by GSI, Manpower Spokane, Career Path Services, and Providence, for their generous support in bringing this event to the community. Without their contributions, we would not have been able to provide this valuable learning opportunity to our attendees.

We also want to extend our gratitude to all the presenters and panelists who shared their insights and expertise on hiring and retention strategies in today’s competitive job market. Your contributions were instrumental in making this event a success and providing attendees with actionable strategies they can implement in their own organizations.

Additionally, we would like to thank the partnership of community organizations that collaborated to plan, develop, and execute this event with us, including GSI, Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, Talent Solutions by WorkSource Spokane, Optimal Talent Dynamics, Spokane Journal of Business, Inland Northwest Society for Human Resource Management (INSHRM), City of Spokane Valley, and Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium (INWAC). Your collaboration and support were crucial in ensuring that the event ran smoothly and provided maximum value to attendees.


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