Local businesses struggle to find employees

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. –   A lot of businesses in South Bend are struggling to find new employees and they’re finding it  harder to retain them. Many blaming the government and possibly laziness, as the reason for not wanting to back to work .

"It revolves around the stimulus money that people have received, and and currently unemployment benefits which, with the increase in that on a 40 hour work week, the unemployment benefits exceed what theyre able to earn,” Carl Lederer the general Manager at Courtyard Marriot hotel.

Carl Lederer said he’s currently understaffed by 15 people.  As the hospitality industry sees an increase in traffic, he’s going through different avenues to fill positions with no luck.

“Recruiting companies, local recruiting companies, and the state, we’re having very diffciltu time finding employees and it doesn’t seem to be unique to the hospitality industry.” Lederer said.

Over at the Lauber, general manager Gabe Torok is down twenty staff members. He believes that its the government who’s preventing people from getting back into the work force and they should do a better job at handling the unemployment benefits.

“It’s time for either the governor or government to get people back into the workforce. And at least require them to look for jobs while they’re claiming this unemployment,” Torok said.

Torok said his restaurant staff is stretched thin and some have been working to exhaustion. He understands concerns with the coronavirus pandemic, but hopes the vaccine rollout will have an effect on people coming back to the workforce.

One challenge many businesses are facing is a lack of applicants.

“There’s a great amount of employers that are asking for referrals, who do you know, who’s your friend that’s looking for a job and wants to come work,” President & CEO South Bend Regional Chamber, Jeff Rae said.

And a lot of businesses around the city have been hit hard by the lack of employees. Rea said that many are upping their wages to try and attract more people.

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