Springfield industrial companies looking for workers to fill shortages, many look to job fairs

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – If you walk past Springfield Industrial Park, there’s probably not a single corner without some sort of hiring sign out front.

Dozens of Springfield-based companies are looking for workers to fill their current shortages. This is a national trend, not just isolated from the Ozarks. Some Springfield businesses are looking for dozens, if not hundreds, of new employees.

“Our biggest thing is that everyone is trying to compete with everyone else, by raising their rates, giving them signing bonuses, referral bonuses and different things like that,” Jennia Moore said with ABEC. “But we are still struggling to find someone to apply and come to work every day.”

Many companies in the region have said that it is also a competitive market at the moment, which has led to all kinds of new strategies. For some companies, like DMP, job fairs are the new tool. The company held its first job fair last week.

“It’s a time when a lot of companies are hiring, so to be able to stand out a little differently with a career fair and invite people to our campus so they can see what makes DMP a place to work. different, this family environment, it was worth it, ”said Mark Hillenburg of DMP.

As Springfield businesses continue to seek workers, we regularly see job fairs appearing like Wednesday’s at ABEC. Some of these companies have said that even if they don’t see the turnout they would like, there are still positive results.

“Our applications are much heavier than they were in the past just before the job fair,” said Benita Shantz of DMP.

Social media has also been a useful tool lately, Shantz and Hillenburg said.

The ABEC had around 20 participants on Wednesday. Of those 20 participants, the company said about ten would likely be hired locally. The company said it had around 100 positions to fill.

DMP had 35 attendees at its show last week. The company had 43 open positions at the time.

These numbers may not be as high as they would like, but they say most are the quality workers they are looking for.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what the niche is right now,” Moore said. “No one knows the perfect code yet. So we try to say at career fairs, “Hey, come over to our facility to see what we are. “”

A handful of companies said the shortage had as much to do with the expansion as the pandemic or anything else.

“The growth that they are able to support now is astronomical,” said Moore. “So that’s why we’re looking for so many workers now. “

“Jobs are growing faster than we have people to fill them,” Shantz said.

Some positions require specific skills, but most companies said they can easily train and teach new skills. Hillenburg said his company even noticed that a handful of applicants used the pandemic as a chance to learn new skills, such as coding, through online tutorials.

Many companies have said that the past few months have been a time when many people have started to reassess their careers and professional ambitions. Many people have changed industries and career paths throughout the pandemic.

Businesses in the region have said they hope more workers will apply for jobs by the end of the summer. Moore said it’s possible some parents are still waiting to see how the 2021-22 school year works.

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