A new survey reflects the tough times and frustrations experienced by Colorado’s employers who are still struggling to find and retain employees with the knowledge and decision-making skills needed for the jobs.

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce hired a research firm to survey 156 business owners in June and July to identify the employers’ biggest concerns about doing business in the state.

Over-regulation by the Polis administration was cited as the largest impediment, which is pushing businesses out the door to expand in other states, reports Sum and Substance.  

And, 60% say Colorado’s economy is still on the wrong track.

From the president of the research firm, Pat McFerron:

The primary reason for that negativity — the effect of regulations on businesses’ ability to operate — is a subject over which business owners have expressed concern for the past several years. But this year, it was so much more prevalent as the biggest struggle for firms in Colorado than for those in other states where CHS has polled that it is “shocking,” McFerron said.

But wait, there’s more bad news.

The lack of a qualified and willing workforce continues to haunt businesses that are being forced to cut productivity and operating hours and rein back expansion plans in Colorado, because there are more than two job openings for every unemployed worker, the Chamber report said.

Only 13% of those surveyed described their workforce as “very satisfactory.” Nearly 60% say it’s “somewhat satisfactory.”

About a third of those surveyed say the workforce lacks the talent to do the job, another third said workers lack the technical skills and 29% said employees don’t even have basic communication or problem-solving skills.

Employers used to rely on the education system to, ahem, educate the workforce. But Polis’s solution is for employers to educate and train their own workers through apprentice programs.

Schools don’t even factor in Polis’s response to the dwindling capable workforce anymore, where in some classrooms the only problem-solving skills being taught is to insist on special treatment or protest in the streets when students don’t get their way.

No wonder Colorado business owners are frustrated and looking to move to more greener and talented pastures.