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'Employers Are Eager And Ready:' As Workers Return To The Workforce, Challenges Still Remain

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Companies are having trouble filling orders, restaurants have tables sitting empty, and everyone is wondering - where are the workers?

Much has been said about the extra unemployment keeping workers on the shelf, but that's gone and the problems are not.

The hospitality industry, restaurants, are the most impacted says Peg Weigand of Krown Employment Services.

"They can't get dishwashers, they can't get cooks they can't get servers so yes, the majority are now running five days a week versus seven," she explains.

She says the restaurants are trying by raising wages.

"Everybody saying well if you pay $15 an hour, everybody's gonna come back, not true," she says. "The phone isn't ringing off the hook."

The problem doesn't stop with hospitality.

At New Century Careers, Neil Ashbaugh's people train the workforce for their next chapter in life.

"Employers are eager and ready to take on as many entry-level people as we can produce right now," he says.

WATCH: Help Wanted - Where Are The Workers?

But the employees are not knocking down the door.

"It is still slow, we often think of it as coming kind of coming out of a COVID coma," he says. "People are still starting to readapt and now we're going through what I would say phase two with a variant."

However, he says with the end of the supplemental unemployment payments, "People are starting to get a little bit more excited about re-entering the workforce, whether it's directly into careers and back to their jobs or through training centers, like ours."

Weigand agrees.

"By and large, people are starting to come back little by little," she says.

An emphasis on the "little" as the return is a trickle, not a flow.

Weigand says those who are going job shopping are particular.

"They're dictating whether they go back for certain wages and benefits and more," she explains.

Employers now are having to do a sales job.

"Even if you say well you can work remote you can work different times you can work part-time, those traditional ways aren't working to bring people back into the workforce, so it is a dilemma," she says.

Ashbaugh says as workers start to turn their eye towards returning to work many aren't interested in going back to their previous jobs.

"You're seeing people going to a lot more training centers where we're offering anywhere from four months to six months from entry to successful placement into a career," he says.

Those going back to work are finding plenty of opportunities.

"The nice thing about it is for individuals that are learning these skills," Ashbaugh says. "They're having a really good time at picking and choosing where they wish to work."

So the opportunities are there and Ashbaugh adds, "It is definitely the time, the longer people wait, the more they're just behind getting into careers."

Weigand adds the economy needs you, "if we don't get people back into the workforce, nothing is going to be good."

You can find employment services at the links below.


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