Small Town News


Jobs, but no workers

The Montmorency County Tribune of Atlanta, Michigan

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Jobs are popping up all around the area yet unemployment rates remain steady while there is a lack of workers for those new jobs. Montmorency County experienced spikes in unemployment in 2009 and 2010 to about 10 percent, but unemployment is currently at 6.9 percent, the same as it was about 10 years ago.

"People just aren't qualified for some of the jobs that are available," said Alicia Wallace, marketing personnel for Michigan Works! "We do work with employers, and a lot are willing to do training."

A large wooden pallet plant is being constructed in Grayling in a couple of years. Wallace said it has been reported about 250 employees will be needed, but the skill levels for those jobs are not yet known.

Michigan Works! tries to coordinate training from employers. In some cases, the organization helps with tuition for education, and some individuals in framing can receive wages for training.

"All of our services are free," Wallace offered.

It is not just highly qualified positions in need of workers. Area managers are reporting they are taking on more shifts because workers are not applying for some of the lower paying positions available.

Wallace says the lower paying jobs are not enough income to sustain an individual, and they are forced to try to work multiple part-time positions. However, according to Wallace, it is too difficult to try to coordinate multiple jobs.

"We have positions we are listing for weeks in a row," Wallace explained.

She said H & R Block, which offers part-time seasonal work, is now beginning to target older individuals who are only looking for part-time positions.

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Original Publication Date: October 21, 2015

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