OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)– Across the country, businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.   

Sources say finding people to work for them is half the battle.   

What can companies do to fill their openings?  

Many local businesses gathered at the Highlands Event Center to find a solution.   

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, through WVU, did a study and found that the number one roadblock in economic development is workforce development.   

Kurt Zende is the Chamber President. 

He says there are programs available to help advance the workforce’s needs, but many companies are having a hard time getting them.   

We’re struggling. I mean, everyone is, from you name it, whether you’re a very small business to the mega businesses and we think that over time as people get more knowledge of these different programs, it’ll make it a better situation to garner the workforce.

Kurt Zende, President of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce   

Dr. Phil Klein is the Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for West Virginia Northern Community College.

He says most businesses have this same problem and until you get everyone in one room it can seem like you’re alone.  

I think this is actually the first of many conversations and we’ve recognized that there really is some difficulty finding employees keeping those employees working. 

So, this is an opportunity for us to all come together, talk about those challenges, and come up with solutions.

Dr. Phil Klein, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development for WV Northern Community College   

This symposium allowed businesses to share their resources so more companies in the Northern Panhandle can hire employees and keep them.