The Odessa Record -

Surveys shed light on local workforce issues


November 9, 2017

Davenport, WA, November 6, 2017 – It is getting tough to find good employees to fill open positions in Lincoln County. One reason is that a large portion of our workforce, 60 percent according to the Employment Security Department, commutes outside the county every day for work. This leaves only a small portion of our workforce to fill jobs here.

But what are the consequences to the employer, and why are so many people commuting out? A recent survey of employers gives some insight on the first half of that question and a new survey targeting commuters will answer the second half. The surveys are being conducted by the Lincoln County Economic Development Council in hopes that the combined data will lead to possible solutions.

The Employer Survey was just completed with 62 employers responding. When asked “How difficult is it for you to find qualified job applicants?” three-quarters of the respondents selected “often” or “always” difficult. Another question revealed that the problem has prevented 70 percent of employers from expanding their businesses, while 60 percent have experienced lower productivity and reduced output or sales because of staffing issues. Thirty percent have considered moving their businesses to a more urban area. If that’s not troublesome enough, the top three reasons employees leave their Lincoln County jobs? They accept a job outside Lincoln County, they are unable to find housing and they are unable to find child care.

The results are startling, even if not surprising. The big question now is “What would it take to get some of those commuters to take jobs here?” If you or someone you know commutes out of the county to work, please take the brief multiple-choice Commuter Survey available from the home page of the EDC’s website at or the EDC Facebook page at Your input is anonymous, appreciated and could be instrumental to the success of businesses in Lincoln County.


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