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Elkhart hopes to combat lack of workers with events and festivals

ELKHART, Ind.-- Elkhart is seeing a big impact thanks to efforts the city has put together to draw in tourists and locals alike. Now officials say they want to keep the ball rolling.

The Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce President, Kyle Hannon tells ABC57, these festivals are essential for the growth of the economy here, but they also help combat a problem that this city has been dealing with for at least the past year.

“It makes people more aware of the community and that’s key right now as we are struggling to find more workers,” says Hannon. “As more people become aware hopefully that can attract more talented workers to this area to fill the jobs that are available.”

Hannon says the city of Elkhart has been struggling to fill job openings and he hopes to reverse that by keeping Elkhart’s streets alive with events.

“It brings a lot of awareness to Elkhart and what’s going on and that’s really the important thing of the activities and events that we have here,” adds Hannon.

This past weekend, Elkhart’s Jazz Festival brought hundreds of people together and the event alone a successful for both the city and local business owners.

“I had huge expectations and they followed through,” says Amy Fassler, owner of Consign-It Boutique. “Lots of flavorful people came to enjoy our town.”

Fassler says this was her first year experiencing the jazz festival and her sales skyrocketed.

“The increase that I had during this time had tripled for my business so it was a good thing.”

Another thing Hannon mentioned are the Steward Johnson statues put all over Elkhart County. “That’s bringing a lot of people downtown, it’s almost as big as Pokémon-Go,” says Hannon.

And that actually is what brought Jane Phillips to Elkhart from Virginia. “When I heard about it, everything appealed to me”

“Elkhart is a great place to be and hopefully next year will be even better,” adds Fassler.

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