Understanding the Local Labor Shortage

Date: December 3, 2021

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Event Type: Online/Virtual


Eugene, Oregon

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Other Details:

ZOOM Taping: November 30 at 1 p.m. Those who would like to join the ZOOM session or submit questions can go to for more information.


“Help wanted” signs seem to be permanently affixed to the doors of local establishments. The nightly news headlines focus on the acute lack of skilled workers for good-paying jobs in the region. Hospitals offer top dollar to tempt traveling medical workers to relocate temporarily and beef up woefully short-staffed wards and specialty departments. Apprenticeships and concentrated, short-term training programs are ramping up to prepare workers to fill vacancies. As the constraints of the pandemic tentatively ease, it suddenly seems that there are not enough workers to fill the slots emptied by the shut-downs almost 20 months ago. What is going on? When we were sheltering at home, did job slots somehow multiply?

In this program, three experts will reflect on some of the factors that affect the overall employment picture. Henry Fields will review the numbers, to show how demographics and shifting economic conditions have changed the employment scene. Kristina Payne will describe how well current workforce assets match the industry needs and where training is making a difference. She will elaborate on the concept of “the true cost of living.” And Leonard Stoehr will explain some of the reasons workers may not be eager to return and what might need to change to make workplaces more functional.


Name: Henry Fields
Title: Lane & Douglas County Workforce Analyst/Economist
Organization: Oregon Employment Department

Henry Fields is the Oregon Employment Department’s Workforce Analyst and Economist for Lane and Douglas Counties. In this role, he provides regional economic data and labor market information to improve business decisions. Raised in Coos Bay, he earned a BA from the University of Oregon and a graduate degree in Public Administration from Indiana University.

Name: Kristina Payne
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Lane Workforce Partnership

Kristina Payne has been the Executive Director of the Lane Workforce Partnership (LWP) since 2014. Her experience includes high-level management, program development, change management, and system design for both governmental and non-profit organizations. As ED, she led LWP’s move from a Lane County government structure to an independent non-profit status. With board assistance, she launched the Lane County Sector Strategy Team, which has developed initiatives that have drawn local and national attention for both the Tech and the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Sector.

Name: Leonard Stoehr
Title: Labor Representative
Organization: Teamsters Local 206

Leonard Stoehr currently represents Ward 4 on the Springfield City Council and serves as a labor representative with Teamsters Local 206. He worked in the freight industry for 19 years, followed by 11 years as a representative. About 10 years ago, he accepted an offer from Teamsters Local 206 and moved to Springfield. As a City Council member, he serves on the Springfield Economic Development Agency, the Springfield Budget Committee, the Springfield Arts Commission, the Springfield Legislative Committee, the Springfield Planning Commission, and Lane Council of Governments.

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