BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Something local businesses are finding as they continue to open their doors, they continue to struggle in recruiting new employees.
What we're beginning to see here locally is an increasing number of "We’re Hiring" signs across town.
Looking back a few months when the pandemic first hit, millions of Americans lost their jobs as businesses cut back, trying to stay afloat.
“I, unfortunately... I was a COVID casualty back last May,” said Scott Chlebos, the VP of HR with Willies Grill and Icehouse.
Now the doors for job opportunities are opening back up.
“I’ve been with Willies just over seven months,” Chlebos shared.
But with unemployment still historically high, job applications are nonexistent.
Newly hired employees like Scott Chlebos were happy to find a job he can turn into a career.
”For me it was finding the right career opportunity, finding the right culture, finding the right company I could grow with,” said Chlebos.
The Texas workforce commission is holding in-person job fairs again. So far, they have held two where the numbers of people are attending are still relatively low but have exceeded their expectations.
“They were hiring on the spot and doing interviews on the spot. In the first 45 minutes I think we had over 100 people show up” said Nathaniel Muir, business services manager for Texas Workforce Commission.
Agents like Nathaniel Muir have transitioned from getting community members hired as quickly as possible, to simply easing them back into the workforce.
“I think the most important role the workforce plays right now is we have to make people comfortable again and really we have to start building habits again,” Muir explained.
Chlebos shared thanks to the proximity of Texas A&M, they have been able to keep Willies in College Station well-staffed, but they have implemented hiring incentives at other locations encouraging new applicants.
They are hiring and if they find themselves struggling to find new hires, they will apply the incentive here locally as well.
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