Ohio Valley businesses are finding it hard to fill positions

Ohio County

Managers say the problem is not that they can't pay up but that people don't want to work right now

OHIO VALLEY (WTRF) — After nearly a year of lockdowns, many area businesses are finally looking to hire.
Although that sounds like great news, they say it’s been a struggle just to find workers.

It’s causing a number of problems as several employers don’t have sufficient staff to meet their needs.

We have adds everywhere, like Indeed. We are putting them on our Facebook page. We have been have running adds everywhere. We also have a big jumbo tent thing that says now hiring.

Christine Thomas. Marketing Manager, Quaker Steak and Lube

Signs can be seen at several locations throughout the area. Businesses say they are doing anything and everything they can to fill existing positions. But according to many, the response has not been good.

They say they are having trouble finding workers.

“People will apply. When we call them, they don’t show up or when we offer the job, they don’t take it,” said Thomas.

Thomas says that while there are several reasons as to why a person might turn down a job, wages are not one.

What frustrates me the most is everybody is saying that restaurants pay poverty wages, which is not true. We don’t have a cook here or back of the house employee that makes minimum wage. We are very competitive with salary wages and stuff.

Christine Thomas. Marketing Manager, Quaker Steak and Lube

Thomas, along with several other business leaders say a shortage of workers leads to a frustrating situation for both employees and customers.

We have been very lucky at our restaurant because every worker has come back except one from COVID but now that we are getting back to more capacity on the weekends it is a struggle. I’m hoping they don’t notice it because everybody does work as a team but I’m sure there are some long wait times.

Christine Thomas

But restaurants are not the only business affected by the worker shortage.
Mike Schlanz with Ohio Means Jobs, say his organization is trying employers with workers in a number of fields.

I’ve talked to a number of employers the last few weeks. One was looking for a medical assistant, the other was looking for a general laborer. They are just having trouble finding people.

Mike Schlanz. Ohio Means Jobs

Schlanz says there could be number of reasons for the apparent worker shortage mostly having to do with the pandemic

“What I hear, we read, like everybody, with the unemployment extension, the stimulus payment, that has a lot to do with it,” said Schlanz.

They say the good news is that jobs are available in a wide range of areas.
Employers are hoping to be able to fill a number of positions in the very near future .

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