BOSTON (WWLP) – Business leaders boarded a bus Wednesday morning and made their way to Boston to discuss the business landscape in western Massachusetts.

Western Massachusetts business leaders gathered for their annual Beacon Hill Summit, where they discussed how to attract and retain employees. Business leaders expressed that they’re having trouble filling positions due to a multitude of reasons, like lack of flexibility, housing costs, and childcare costs.

Governor Maura Healey was there and knows how the state has to stay competitive. “We’re competing with other states, we’re competing with other cities in terms of where employers are going to go and where residents are going to go. And I need to make our state, which is the best state in the union, as attractive to as many people as possible.”

Since the pandemic, remote work has skyrocketed, causing employees to move to more affordable areas while keeping their jobs.

“I think the pandemic brought on a number of lessons, a number of learnings, that we’re all as an employer community grappling with, right? The ability to get to work, the ability to have daycare, the ability to obviously deal with the attendance requirements at work. So there’s a whole host of ways that the employer community is looking at the needs of the employees.”

Business leaders did praise the Governor’s proposal to increase the estate tax threshold and slash the capital gains tax.

The governor also announced that she will be revamping her Springfield office by naming a director and deputy director to make sure her office is properly represented in western Massachusetts.