HCI Speaker Series Continues with a Look at Workforce Resilience | News

The Aspen Institute’s Hurst Community Initiative will continue its City Hall speaker series on Wednesday with a deep dive into workforce sustainability issues in Aspen.

Wednesday’s conference will be the second in a six-part series hosted in partnership with libraries and chambers of commerce between Aspen and Parachute. The series will cover a range of topics selected by each city’s library and chamber of commerce, ensuring that relevant topics are chosen by field representatives from the regions who truly understand the pressing issues of the community, according to a HCI’s press release release.

“The goal of rolling out the HCI Town Hall Speaker Series is to help amplify the most critical conversations taking place in area municipalities,” said Evan Zislis, director of community engagement at HCI. “We want to encourage communities to better understand the complexity of how different issues impact area residents.

Wednesday’s discussion will feature Carolyn Tucker of Colorado Workforce Development, Auden Schendler of Aspen Skiing Co., Jonathan Jones of Atlantic Aviation and Pitkin County Policy, and project manager Kara Silbernagel. The topic under study will be “Workforce Resilience in Mountain Cities,” an issue that Aspen and other areas of the Roaring Fork Valley are struggling to address.

“We’re hearing from our members and our community that help is needed to find the right candidates for vacancies, and it’s getting harder and harder to retain a local workforce,” said Alycin Bektesh, who will moderate the discussion. “Through this conversation, we have the opportunity to learn more about the demographics and economics driving this revenue shortfall, as well as hear from leaders in our business community who navigate the the workforce environment.

Zislis said in an email that listeners can expect to hear first-hand from industry influencers on winning strategies to support the local workforce, regional initiatives on everything from compensation to housing and the trends that are reshaping the future of mountain city economies.

The regional speaker series is in its second year, and Zislis said it has the potential for greater reach through innovative, solution-focused conversations.

“The nuance between micro-communities and their respective local experts helps illuminate the common ground we share — and helps build empathy among leaders seeking collaborative solutions,” Zislis added. “Not only is this series aimed at a local audience, but it is also an excellent platform for a series of case studies on innovative strategies underway in rural America. And in many ways, the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys are truly taking an innovative approach to solving regional issues.

The virtual webinar will take place from 5-6 p.m. on April 27. You can find more information and a link to register at aspen2parachute.org/events.

Angela C. Hale