Beaver Dam Chamber President Concerned Over Workforce

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam looks to avoid a workforce shortage as the city sees a number of new businesses open up.

“I am concerned about workforce,” says Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce President Tracy Propst. “We do have a lot of coffee shops and things in our community so, I hope we find a balance. That everyone can be served with workforce and doesn’t erode…other businesses too much. Hopefully we can all live harmoniously.”

Propst says she has had numerous conversations with local businesses over their concerns with workforce availability.

“And it doesn’t seem that there is going to be too much of an end in sight,” says Propst. “Hospitality in particular is extremely difficult to find wait staff and cooks especially, and those are things that we love to do. That’s sort of the affordable luxury sometimes where we can go out to dinner with all these extra restaurants. That is something that does concern me and concerns owners of other restaurants too.”

Propst says she is part of a chamber group of executive directors and has seen layoffs in other communities as a result of inflation and higher cost of living. She says the Beaver Dam Chamber does what it can to help business leaders identify needs and find solutions.

“We support economic development…[with] the Beaver Dam Economic Development Corporation here but we like to support that,” says Propst. “We do on a regular basis have new business owners come in here looking for guidance. As far as chamber membership, it is having that resource and that connection.

“A lot of people join for networking and getting exposure too. We do sponsor a lot of events here and its an opportunity for them to sponsor and get involved and get their name out in front of the public.”

Propst called the chamber a “community supporter.” The list of new businesses recently opening in Beaver Dam include Jersey Mike’s, Pizza Ranch, and Noodles and Company.

The International House of Pancakes is moving into the former Applebee’s restaurant off North Spring Street. In the Park Village Shopping Center, progress is being made on a new building for a combination Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins situated between McDonalds and Shopko.