This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
■ Special Report: VIRGINIA CFO AWARDS


“Finding qualifi ed electricians is a big challenge for us,” says Becky Jester, CPA, of Highground Services Inc., a small engineering company in Franklin.


Help wanted D


uring the recession, many Virgin- ians couldn’t find jobs. Now, according to chief


financial officers across the state, the jobs are there, but not enough


qualified applicants are showing up to claim them. That situation threatens not only a com- pany’s growth but the overall economic prosperity of the commonwealth. Virginia Business talked to Virginia CFO


Awards nominees about the biggest challenges they face. The awards, started in 2006, were pre- sented in June to winners in five categories: small (under 100 employees) and large private compa- nies; small and large nonprofit organizations; and publicly traded companies. “Finding qualified electricians is a big chal-


lenge for us,” says Becky Jester, CPA, who is the chief financial officer of Highground Services Inc., a small engineering company in Franklin.


Photo by Mark Rhodes Highground, which has more than 60


employ ees, has been growing and diversifying, expanding its operations to Newport News and other areas. The company is poised for even more growth, but it needs more skilled workers. “We have partnered with a local high school


to teach basic electrical skills, and we are in conversation with a community college [ Paul D. Camp Community College] to relaunch their electrical training program,” Jester says, adding that Highground has established an apprentice- ship program to train electricians. In talking with customers and other busi-


nesses, the company has learned of labor short- ages in nearly all the construction trades. Jester has her own idea on why the shortages


have occurred. “Perhaps, over time, we’ve let our young people think they need to go to college, to sit behind a desk to be successful. I don’t think a tradi- tional four-year college is for everyone,” Jester says.


www.VirginiaBusiness.com VIRGINIA BUSINESS 69


CFOs struggle to find qualified applicants for job openings by Gary Robertson


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104