Workforce summit focuses on attracting and retaining talent

Dec 18, 2023
| Posted in
A white man in a suit stands in front of a screen presenting to a room

The event focused on developing a more effective and equitable workforce system to help workers obtain the skills necessary for economic mobility and to grow the regional economy.

Keynote presenter

Keynote speaker Bob Lavigna, senior fellow – public sector with UKG, focused on the profound changes in the world of work since the COVID-19 pandemic and provided insights for public organizations to become employers of choice. Lavigna emphasized that public sector employers can succeed in the competitive job market through employee engagement; building trust with staff, offering flexibility, and using data to understand hiring and retention patterns.

“Work culture is not what happens in a meeting. It’s what’s discussed in the parking lot,” Lavigna said.

Bob Lavigna, Senior fellow – public sector with UKG

In his presentation, Lavigna also stated that:

  • Highly engaged organizational units have a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity. 
  • At high-turnover organizations, highly engaged organizational units have 24% less turnover – and 59% less in low-turnover organizations. 


A panel of local leaders reflected on Lavigna’s remarks and shared their perspectives. The panel featured:

  • Teri Casey, Director of Human Resources, City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Joni Porter, Career & Life Design Coordinator, University of Central Missouri
  • Andrew Weisberg, Director of Talent, Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

The panelists spoke to the importance of adapting to the new world of work and creating positive employee experiences.