Low unemployment rates in San Luis Obispo County have made it a struggle for businesses to find and retain employees.
One of the biggest factors contributing the problem is the lack and cost of childcare.
"Some people pay more for childcare than they do for their mortgage on their house and that makes it where it doesn't make sense for you to go to work,” said Jim Dantona, San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce President.
A luncheon Tuesday in San Luis Obispo featured a panel of people whose companies have been on the forefront in providing childcare and other benefits to their employees.
The goal, to inspire and show local businesses realistic solutions to the childcare crisis.
"2019 has seen a real focus both on the government level and on the business level to really attack the problem,” said Dantona.
One San Luis Obispo company has already taken steps to address its employees' needs in the form of a brand-new, on-site childcare center with full and part-time staff.
"We realized the problem was only going to get worse. If you don't provide this head start for kids, it affects their parents, it affects the business, obviously, but it really is affecting the wellbeing of your most important asset, which is your team,” said Ty Safreno, Trust Automation CEO.
While it's costly for Trust Automation to run, managers say the benefits of the center outweigh the cost.
"Working together to provide that option, it's extremely important and it pays huge dividends in retention and just the feeling of employees that you care about them so they care about you,” said Safreno.
A childcare center might not be realistic for every company, but leaders at the meeting say there isn't an option too small and anything to help employees will go a long way.