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Businesses work to fill staffing shortage

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Fast-food places are offering signing bonuses, other businesses are saying “start today, get paid tomorrow.” Those are just a couple examples of how hard it is to find workers right now in Mid-Michigan and around the country.

One local child care provider says they had to raise their minimum wage and provide a bonus to get people to apply for the positions they are offering.

“I definitely think the bonus is getting applicants to apply,” said Cradles to Crayons Director, Sable Carter.

Child care provider Cradles to Crayons say these changes have brought applicants in for the first time in months. During those months they had to make it work with the few teachers they had on staff.

“The teachers I do have are amazing. Seeing them over work sometimes makes me sad they definitely need that break,” said Carter.

Carter says they have had to turn kids away and put them on a waiting list because they don’t have enough staff.

“If we don’t have enough teachers unfortunately we cannot accept enough children and have to turn parents away,” said Carter.

Experts are seeing the same problem in other fields that require employees to have direct contact with the public. Many people just don’t feel its worth putting themselves at risk of COVID-19 for a low wage.

“I think its certainly the case with frontline workers and low wage occupations that have been taking on hazards to their health and safety and feel like employers are not rewarding them proportionately to those contributions,” said MSU Professor of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Mevan Jayasinghe.

More than four million Americans quit their jobs in August. Experts say many are looking for something more out of life.

“I think COVID pandemic has jolted all of us into rethinking our priorities in life including what role and significance works plays in our life as well as we expect and value in our employment relationship,” said Jayasinghe.

Cradles to Crayons say they hope they can get kids off the waiting list as soon as they get a full staff.

Experts don’t see this problem resolving itself quickly. They believe the pandemic may have permanently changed the way the workforce looks moving forward.

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