This time of year is always filled with excitement, reflection, and looking ahead. But it’s also a time to predict what the New Year could bring and how your business can adjust. What’s ahead in 2019? Are you prepared for the New Year?

Here are some things to consider as we prepare for the year ahead.


Industry Trends

Especially in the world of STEM, industries can change quickly. Quantum computing has become more relevant in the past year and is poised to continue to impact tech capabilities. Data security and privacy has become a huge concern for anyone in the technology industries. 2019 will mark the first year scientists are taking measurements on a different planet.

With all that being said, how are you staying on top of your industry trends? Based on your specific industry, you’ll need to dive into what’s happening now, what happened last year, and what’s coming up next. Once you’re familiar with the trends in your industry, think about how they’ll impact your business and your employees. What are you doing to prepare for them?


New Technology

With new developments and trends, there’s likely to be new technology that will impact your industry. Have you heard of any new tech that could affect you? Are you planning to implement new technology?

Take something like VoIP for example. IP phones are moving into businesses as a way to make life easier and increase productivity. But that also means you have to think about the pros and cons of adapting new tech for your operations. Will it help your business? Is it worth the training required for your employees?

Incorporating new technology into your business helps keep you on the cutting-edge.


New Certifications

With new technology comes the need for new certifications. Plus, with the start of the new year, it’s a good time to double check and make sure that nothing has expired. When you work in a high-tech lab, it’s a good idea to be up to date on the latest safety certifications. Especially when you’re handling dangerous chemicals, make sure you know what to do in an emergency.

However as new technology continues to develop in your field, make sure that all of your employees have the training to fully utilize the new tech. It’s also a good idea to look for new opportunities for different certifications that can give your employees a boost. Keep an eye out for opportunities to attend seminars that will keep your employees up to date.

On the other hand, renewing certifications is a great way to keep your employees on the cutting edge of your industry. Each year, a certification should change with the industry. Accommodating for new technology and teaching employees new trends.


New Competition

Certifications are also great to give your company a boost over any new competition that may emerge in the new year.

Frederick is quickly becoming a hub for STEM activity. In this year alone, three new science research and development companies have moved into the city. There are several networking organizations dedicated to the local tech companies, and the STEM scene in Frederick has almost as much of a following as the local beer scene.

Take a close look at your industry in the coming year. Do you have any new neighbors that weren’t there before? What about talk of new companies moving to Frederick? Being prepared for incoming competition allows you to stay on the cutting edge of the industry and a step ahead of any newcomers.


Employee Training

So how can you keep up with industry trends for 2019, be able to implement new technology, renew your certifications, and stay a step ahead of new competition. The answer is two simple words.

Workforce development.

Your employees are the backbone of your business. They’ll be testing their skills out against new competition, using new equipment, and putting in the time to get their certifications renewed. Your company is, at its heart, your employees. Who you hire defines where your company is headed.

Workforce development gives your employees an extra edge in the industry. Sending employees to seminars or conferences on industry trends or new technology means they’ll come home refreshed, motivated, and full of new ideas to implement. Training your employees on newly implemented equipment means that they won’t be dragged down with productivity issues that occur in the transition period.

All in all, great workforce development keeps your company a step ahead and boosts employee morale.


Frederick BusinessWORKS

Unfortunately, employee training can also be on the pricey side. There’s the cost of tuition, travel, materials, and the day that you’ll be without your employee. However, workforce development, aided by Frederick BusinessWORKS, is worth the cost.

For STEM companies who can’t afford the cost of employee training, but still want to get ahead, there’s Frederick BusinessWORKS.

Offered by Frederick County Workforce Services, the Frederick BusinessWORKS program can help your business to grow and compete in a rapidly changing market. Providing high quality training is one of the best ways to solve critical workforce skill shortages, develop promotional opportunities for your high performers, and ensure that your business remains on the cutting edge.

Frederick BusinessWORKS uses funds from the American Job Center Network to reimburse eligible companies for up to 50% of the cost of tuition and training materials- significantly reducing the cost of workforce development.

If you’re ready to take your company to the next level, learn more about Frederick BusinessWORKS today.