Innovation keeps the economy moving: Restaurant workers transition to factory jobs

Posted at 2:02 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 20:42:00-04

WACO, TX — The tug-o-war between health leaders and political leaders over the coronavirus and the economy comes down to finding a so-called "acceptable risk" to allow our economy to keep moving because, let's face it, the government only has so much of OUR tax money to pay us back in stimulus checks.

"Everybody's looking for a job now," says And Josh Finstead of Placements Unlimited, who put between 500 and 700 people back to work in recent weeks.

He's noticed a bit of a difference in those looking for work these days.

"The industrial areas are grabbing up employees that are typically in your restaurants or your bar areas, they're taking an opportunity to let these people switch gears," he explained.

That has started showing up in our unemployment rate which for Waco alone, sits at 5.4%, a number economists call, good for this point in our rebound.

"I think it reflects the diversity of the manufacturing base in the area and the number of goods that are able to continue to be produced from the region," explained Dr. Ray Perryman, President & CEO of The Perryman Group.

The shutdown hit manufacturers hard. Most couldn’t make anything, especially money but in the rebound, many once again hum.

At top speed trying to make up for lost time are garden hoses, because apparently lots of people are these days.

So many a local hose maker offers good money and something a lot of employers don't, "40 hours a week and with overtime, because they are working some Saturdays they're offering overtime throughout the week for those who are willing," said Macos Anaya of Placements.

Finstad says lots of companies continue working hard to catch up to make up for ground they lost during the shutdown, and to stockpile for future disruptions.

"A lot of them are really busy right now, even busier than last year, trying to catch up and then I think some are preparing for if there are additional restrictions. With administrations changing there's some uncertainty with some policies," said Finstead.

He means if the November election brings a change at the white house. So dust off your resume and practice those interviews, it's time to get to work, Central Texas.