As Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov Karyn Polito barnstorm around the state to drum up support for the administration’s signature piece of housing legislation, the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber is joining the fight.
The chamber on Thursday announced a public awareness campaign that calls attention to how Greater Boston’s housing shortage has created a “hiring crisis” for local businesses and nonprofits.
“Finding and keeping workers has become a full-blown crisis,” Newton-Needham Regional Chamber President Greg Reibman said in a statement. “Our businesses are having trouble filling everything from high-salary tech and life sciences jobs to hourly workers for hotels and restaurants. In some instances, we’ve even seen businesses curtail hours or move because of this worker shortage. “
The centerpiece of the chamber’s campaign is a video produced by NewTV’s Another Age Productions, featuring business and nonprofit employers discussing how the housing shortage is impacting their success.
In a recent survey conducted by the chamber, 61 percent of its members said “attracting and retaining workers” is their top business challenge. Workforce worries were even more pronounced for the market’s largest employers, with 89 percent of Newton and Needham businesses with 100 or more employees saying staffing will be critical to their 2019 success.
According to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Metro Mayor’s Group, the regional economy has created 148,000 new jobs and added 110,000 new residents but only permitted 32,500 housing units.
The drive comes as Newton officials weigh several large projects that would add nearly 2,000 units of housing to the city. The chamber says it supports the creation of “affordable multifamily housing units in Newton, Needham and surrounding communities to support the talent required to fill local jobs.”