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Business Summit 2018 isn’t for everyone.

If you have more great employees than you know what to do with, enough to fill any vacancy that might pop up this year, the seven-hour summit on Feb. 23 probably isn’t a necessity.

But if you’re a business owner or human resources person who struggles at all to keep good employees and attract strong prospects, the summit might be a great investment of your time and twenty bucks.

“Our unemployment numbers are tight all across the nation,” said Amber Conklin, business relations/communications officer for the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation, previously known as Jobs Plus. “It makes more sense for the employers with good employees to hang onto them.”

The summit will show them how.

While economic development agencies have long focused on bringing new businesses to communities — and that’s still a core part of CDA EDC’s mission — shrinking pools of qualified employees have led some businesses to move to areas where there’s a deeper workforce. Others have been forced to shut down. That’s why, Conklin said, retention is the name of the game right now.

The summit, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Parker Technical Education Center on Lancaster Road in Rathdrum, will focus on engagement for better retention, cyberdefense for businesses and more.

“I think you can expect to find some amazing resources for training new employees and some retention measures that can be geared to any business,” Conklin said. “Panelists and speakers will focus on things that are no cost, little cost or some cost that’s worth it to you in the long run.

Particular attention will be paid to ways employers can make employees happy, she said.

“It’s not all about pay. People will stay at a job if they’re happy there,” Conklin said. “This will give them a variety of methods, like Free Lunch Fridays and simple but sincere recognition and signs of appreciation.”

Conklin said one of the summit highlights is likely to be a panel discussion featuring local experts sharing their “Success stories and pitfalls: Recruitment and retention.”

Business Summit 2018: Best Kept Secrets for Building Your Workforce, is sponsored by ICCU, Avista, North Idaho College, Express Employment and CDA EDC. It costs $20 per person through Feb. 8, then goes up to $30. Lunch is included.

Information: info@cdaedc.org or http://bit.ly/2D7FRQP

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