Through the past several months the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce has been participating in a workforce study sponsored by the Westerville Partnership.

This collaborative effort, comprised of the chamber, city of Westerville, Westerville City School District, Otterbein University and the Westerville Public Library, is exploring motivations of the workforce, needs of area businesses and collecting data to form a strategy to provide a sufficient talent pipeline to meet employers' needs.

The partnership just completed the scope and data phase and will begin to address the talent-development strategies.

The data was collected from more than 3,000 high school students in the Westerville district, high school guidance counselors, and Otterbein University and Columbus State students who took an online survey, and representatives of area businesses who took a survey or met in group interviews.

Of the initial findings, one piece of key data found is quite intriguing.

Related to responses from employers responding to specific skills that are lacking in the central Ohio workforce, the top three indicated as lacking are motivation, interpersonal skills and language/communication skills.

Nearly 50 percent of the responses indicated motivation as being of the most concern.

This will require the partnership engaging with the employers to begin to fully understand and solve this challenge.

Findings such as this in the data analysis will be used to create a community-wide strategy that identifies gaps and challenges to better maximize workforce-asset resources.

Moving forward there will be a focus on K-12 curriculums, up to talent attraction toward our community and area businesses, as well as addressing how to fully engage adult learners in our community.

Westerville welcomes roughly 21,000 employees into our limits on a given work day.

The goal of the Westerville Partnership is to continue growing and empowering the workforce of today and beyond. We look forward to sharing more information throughout the year.

Remember it is good business to do business with chamber members. All chamber event times and details can be found at westerville chamber.com or by calling the office at 614-882-8917.

Janet Tressler-Davis is president and CEO of the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, which provides Chamber Corner to ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion.