14 News Special Report: Unemployment rates affecting Tri-State businesses

14 News Special Report: Unemployment rates affecting Tri-State businesses

TRI-STATE (WFIE) - Landing a good, quality job can be hard, but business owners say finding employees to fill open positions can be even harder.

"In the first eight years we were open it seemed like we could always find that employee when we needed someone really badly, but in the last two years it's dried up," Beef O' Brady's Owner John Greenwell said.

For about 10-years, people in the Tri-State have been dining at Beef O' Brady's on Bell Oaks Drive in Newburgh. Restaurant owner John Greenwell says business has done well, but recently they've have a hard time finding workers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Warrick County the unemployment rate went from 3.8 percent to 2.7 percent in just one year.

"I think much of it is because we are seeing so much change happen across the landscape of work at the moment," Governor Holcomb's appointed Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo said.

State officials say they anticipate one million new job openings in the next 10 years.

"The biggest thing is we will get somebody trained in and they don't take it seriously, or they don't like it, or they don't work out for whatever reason and they'll leave,"  Beef O' Brady's Manager Hannah Keltner said. "Then we have to start that process over again."

Greenwell says the job market is also competitive right now.

"I think there are plenty of big jobs with Alcoa now opening another potline and Toyota," Greenwell said. "The casino has come in and they have hired a lot of people. Downtown is bustling. A lot of people are going to those areas where the new big great thing is."

So what to do if you find yourself in Greenwell's position?

Experts say utilize Governor Eric Holcomb's Next Level Jobs program which can help employers find a better-skilled workforce.

"The first part is targeted at helping individuals be able to connect with training in high wage, high demand areas," Milo said. "The second component of next level jobs is an employer training grant."

Greenwell says while it's been a struggle finding new employees, some of the existing people have been working at his establishment for a long time.

"It very much hurts your business when you can't keep that consistency of especially a server, or those staff members that deal with my customers," Greenwell says. "Then you know the customers can't feel that connection with that person, especially in a small town facility like we are here."

Greenwell says he is also always active on social media and on hiring websites trying to find more skilled workers.

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