770.333.6343 kate@katemcenroe.com

urban rooftop couches in the evening

Looks pretty, doesn’t it?  In my mind, this is the setting for the Zoom salons I recently re-opened to hold space for some difficult conversations about workforce.  During 2020 and 2021, I offered invitations to join me periodically to have time with your economic development peers from across the country.  The intention was to give you a place to vent, to share, and to speak freely without walking away with a job to do.

Lately, as I have been delivering some workforce presentations with very updated content, I’ve been feeling like you get the chance to hear a lot of these presentations but not a lot of chances to talk to one another, or even to engage in deeper discussion.

So, I offered two sessions, and since they filled up quickly, I offered two more, without a big plan or a lot of expectations.

Here is what I learned and what I decided:

It’s a good idea to hold the size to 10 or 12, and because life happens, that means I can invite more like 20 people to each session in order to really have that many people show up.

There seems to be an appetite for further sessions, with a preference for a bit of a theme each time – perhaps child care one time, transportation, another, that sort of thing.

There seems also to be an appetite for me to offer a tidbit of research or an example at the beginning of the session.

It does help to know that other share your challenges, for the most part, and there were some great resources of the “I didn’t know about that” variety.

I’m allowing for the possibility that, when I asked if it is valuable for me to do this again, everyone was too polite to say no, but I’ve decided to go for it, so keep your eyes open for an email with some scheduling and registration information coming soon.

(BTW, in my mind, my Chicago roof deck looks just like this – it doesn’t, but it’s pretty great).