Compiled by Don Lee Times staff writer

Expansion Planned: Here’s some good news from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce: About 41% of the members polled recently plan to increase their work force this year, while only 13% foresee cuts.

But there’s a problem: About half of those surveyed also said it will be substantially or moderately difficult for them to hire qualified applicants. Only 13% of the respondents said they expect no difficulty in hiring.

Tom Buckles, the Chapman University marketing professor who conducted the mail-in survey for the chamber, says those two findings obviously pose a “kind of paradox.”


But Tony Burnham, president of ProActive Institute, a job-training firm in Costa Mesa, believes there are enough talented workers in the county to fill these expected openings. Burnham said he infers from the survey that employers “are looking for something different from before. They want people who are willing to take more initiative and willing to take less job security.”

Other findings from the chamber’s poll of its 1,200 members, of whom 387 responded: 71% expect their company’s financial performance to be much better or somewhat better this year. Only 9% expect it to be worse.