Workforce Forum Series addresses issue of workforce housing


Past Event

Forum on "Housing our Workforce"

  • Wednesday, May 9, 2007, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Rex's American Grill and Bar, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • All ages / $15


— Affordable housing issues have trickled down into the workforce in several ways that will be addressed Wednesday at the second session of the Workforce Forum Series at Rex's American Grill & Bar.

"How do you recruit people to come to town to work for your company if they can't afford a place to live?" asked Riley Polumbus, communications director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. "Obviously the current construction is part of that, but there are other businesses that have challenges housing their workforce as well."

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Economic Develop-ment Council initiated the Workforce Forum Series in response to results it received from its annual member survey.

"The issues that came up were issues with the workforce: finding good employees, retaining good employees and housing employees," Polumbus said. "Instead of waiting to see what happens and make mistakes, this is an opportunity for people to discuss what issues we are about to face, and come up with solutions through dialogue."

There will be a panel of members representing tourism, construction, schools, healthcare, Yampa Valley Housing Authority and other small and mid-sized companies.

"We really tried to cover the spectrum," Polumbus said. "Each person will have a few minutes to speak, and time for questions at the end."

Similar forums will be held once a month. Future topics in this series include workforce retention and recruitment. The idea is for the businesses to work together and learn from each other's experience.

"It's a good networking opportunity," Polumbus said. "And there are challenges out there and things happening that we don't necessarily know about. This can help businesses learn from each other."

- To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204 or e-mail


corduroy 9 years, 11 months ago

i moved here to work and I still can't afford a place to live 3 years later If local businesses would keep it local and stop all the outsourcing they might be able to pay local employees better, and keep them in town.

Oak Creek here I come!


thecondoguy1 9 years, 11 months ago

cordury, Oak Creek is a terrific place to live, buy something as soon as you can, you won't be sorry, good luck....


thecondoguy1 9 years, 11 months ago

There is a very simple answer to Riley's question, I can not believe this is asked, wages and incomes have to be competitive to the costs in the area, this is simple economics 101. The idea of adjusting so many other factors such as the cost of housing, fuel, and other goods and services is a red hearing to the fact that if wages are offered and paid the workers will come, period. The reciepients of the benefit have to pony up the cost. Now bottom up: 1. pay the wages, pass through to employer. 2. employer pass through to consumer. 3. consumer pays for goods and services or goes without. 4. citizens and tax payers are none the less for the wear as they are not involved in the transaction and therefore not subsidizing same.


JQPUBLIC 9 years, 11 months ago

condoguy.... that's one stupid statement, don't you realize using common sense is not an option when they can get the government to provide for them. Just think, these business owner that can afford to close down and go on vacation during mud season might have to dip into their own profits to actually pay their own help a livable wage and that is unacceptable.... government to the rescue. You can't raise rates to absorb the employees wages, tourists might not like it and will spend their money at another resort, this will cut into the businesses profits.... taxpayers to the rescue. It would be nice to see the government take care of governmental business and let the "for profit" businesses resolve their own problems. The government giving business loans, tax breaks, housing loans, etc. is enough, now were expected to house their employees too, what's wrong with this picture?


elphaba 9 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps the reason our City Council is so interested in providing wage-earner housing is that the preponderance of our Council has never managed or run a business-never risked anything personally-never had to make a payroll-never had to learn to do anything except wait for a check.....They simply need the housing for themselves. The answers to this question will always come from the business community with the experience and knowledge to find answers - sorry it's called capitalism. Until we have a Council with some business experience we'll continue to go no where and lose our town in the process.


another_local 9 years, 11 months ago

It is amazing that people can think there are subsidies and tax breaks to business owners. It is business owners who are PAYING for the subsidies and tax breaks, not receiving them.

Stop the outsourcing? What outsourcing? No doubt it exists in some businesses; but I couldn't name them. Perhaps outsourcing for purchasing goods? For the most part it is consumers that drive the "leakage". We live in a place that produces almost no goods at all. (Hay, beef, timber) Other than those agricultural products, the goods or the materials to make them come from out of town.

Employers pay the wages that it takes to attract the help they need, or they go without the help. If the position is unfilled and the wages are high enough, workers come from a distance to get the work. That is how it works. Businesses that can't afford to compete for help fail. Businesses set prices at the level that it takes to cover expenses. If the market does not accept the price; the business fails. It is a risk the business takes.

Businesses take the risk, providing the jobs, using skills and resources for the benefit of themselves and also for the community. The combination of risk, skill, hard work and good ideas is rewarded. Welcome to the United States of America.


craig_guy 9 years, 11 months ago

I use to work at YVMC. We had this bulletin board ad in our cafeteria that was for a 2.2 million dollar house. It was the laughing stock of the BB, mainly because it also said "YVMC employees, walk to work".

The thought of anyone at YVMC, short of one of the executive officers, or a physician, being able to afford the down payment on such a property was hysterical. Whoever posted that was absolutely insane.

Steamboat was absolutely insane, now I have a better paying local job here in Craig and don't miss it one iota. Honestly, you people can have your hob knob snobby mountain town just the way it is. Once the greed and vanity slows down a bit, you might get some honest commerce. Till then, enjoy the tax leakage that will further stress and drain your civic funds by your oh-so-vaunted "tax payers" so you can divert yet more money away from these moribund and empty housing projects.

Good day


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