Last year was a record year of change for Miles City Job Service. Our office had a record-breaking number of job openings listed with us in 2014, averaging 200 or more active listings on a monthly basis. Our employer and job-seeker matching computer system changed. Among other improvements, job-seekers can now upload a resume into our system if they choose; this may enhance your ability to match a potential candidate with your job vacancy (http://milescityjobs.mt.gov). Our office realized cost savings through reducing paper and copying costs. By directing job-seekers to the computers to conduct their job searches vs. printing numerous daily copies of the job list, and by adopting an email version of our quarterly newsletter, we saved hundreds of tax-payer dollars in materials and staff time.
Miles City Job Service staff also shared the frustration experienced by numerous businesses with vacant positions remaining unfilled due to skills gaps and the shallow labor pool. One response to the growing shortage of skilled workers in trade occupations was to hold the first Southeastern Montana Trades Education Fair. Ten area high schools, thirty employers, CCDHS teachers, school administrators, and a number of human service agencies coordinated efforts for approximately 600 students to learn first-hand about the merits of careers in various trades.
Finally, our office saw some laid-off workers from area oilfield service businesses at the end of 2014. While many Montanans are happy to experience cheaper prices at the gas pump, the volatility of oil prices also places some stress on the local economy in Southeastern Montana. Some media sources report that the downturn in oil prices means the sky is falling in the Bakken, while other outlets see it as a natural adjustment after what has been a prosperous period of economic growth in Eastern Montana and in North Dakota. There are still many job openings, and we are now seeing some long-vacant positions being back-filled with laid-off workers.
Miles City Job Service values you, the employer, as our primary customer. If you have questions or need information, please contact us. Cindy, Noel, Ron and I enjoyed the many opportunities we had to visit with you in 2014, and we look forward to serving you again this year!
Kim Blunt, Manager