As I drive into work each day, the song “Signs” by Tesla starts replaying over and over in my head. Not because I am getting signs pointing me in a certain direction of life, but more this weighted sick feeling for all the business owners out there struggling to find workers. It seems everywhere you look there is another “Hiring” sign posted in a store window. The Defiance County Economic Development Team wants to help get the word out about all the different job openings. We are doing this in many ways. We have jobs posted on our website, jobs posted on social media, and now we are taking pictures of all the different hiring signs throughout the county to create a video montage. (Some of the hiring signs are very clever I might add). We are trying anything and everything to get the word out about different openings. And I know employers are also doing the same in their recruitment efforts too. Clearly, we have a workforce shortage issue in Defiance County, Ohio, but it is not just here…it is nationwide.
Expanded unemployment aid, extended under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, gives some Americans an incentive to stay home rather than take a job. Those payments last until early September. Thankfully, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced he will decline federal unemployment assistance that provides jobless workers an extra $300 a week, beginning on June 26th. Our hope is that we will see the pendulum shift, where employers are not struggling so much to find workers. But only time will tell.
After going through this, it does bring up certain questions. Could this be the wake-up call we all needed? Could this be an opportunity for a reset of working conditions? Our office has heard from several different companies who are evaluating their culture and practices. Some are providing at least one three-day weekend per month for employees. Others are planning for remote working to continue far beyond the pandemic. Bottom line, what is at play is more flexibility for the American worker and that means…a happier more productive workforce. I know it has been a tough 18 months, with the pandemic and now a worker shortage, but once we get through all of this, the transition down the road could be a win-win for all.
We are in the process of posting area pictures of hiring ads and putting a video montage together. Please send us your pictures or selfies in front of your company hiring signage. We would love to assist in getting the word out!