TOLEDO, Ohio — There's a sense of urgency to help business owners hire and get employees back to work.
OhioMeansJobs Lucas County is now adapting and finding new ways to do just that.
"We got a whole societal re-construction going on right now and we're in the midst of it, and nobody has a clear answer. So we're just trying to just work through it," said Theodore Foreman, the Business Solutions Manager for Lucas County Department of Planning and Development and OhioMeansJobs Lucas County.
Foreman says the organization isn't standing still. They remain dedicated to matching workers with businesses desperately in need of employees. The hurdle is those who are currently unemployed may be collecting more money than what they made while working pre-pandemic.
"The unemployment that is giving all this extra money away, we haven't really seen a drive of employees that want to work or maybe they think that they don't need to work," said Jennifer Hurst, the co-owner of Sunrise Skillet in Toledo.
Foreman agrees with Hurst.
Other factors include a lack of healthcare or childcare.
"With some employers, they'll walk in wanting to offer what they offered three years ago. And we'll just be blunt," explained Foreman. "There's too many employers out there with competitive wages and environments that might compete with yours."
Hurst is one of many business owners adapting.
"We have had to give everybody in-house raises. Just to be able to keep them and let them know we obviously need them and how helpful they are to us, because we obviously can't operate our business without them," said Hurst.
But there are other ways employers can become attractive.
"Some companies are hanging on by a shoestring. You know, 'thank you, Jesus' moments. So it's hard. It's very hard, and everybody has to revisit their business plan in a business model and determine, 'how can we operate?'" said Foreman.
It could be adding outdoor seating to your location or simply looking into what workers want and need.
And if you're a person collecting unemployment, OhioMeansJobs Lucas County has a few words of advice.
"That is short-term gain for long-term pain. Because when we do come back to a full employment when the economy's healthy, and especially when the stimulus runs out, you may be left at the door 'cause you sat back," said Foreman.
OhioMeansJobs wants to connect with you with an employer if you're looking for a job.
An in-person job fair is scheduled Thursday at the OhioMeansJobs parking lot in downtown Toledo. It will run from 10 a.m. until noon at 1301 Monroe St.
You're encouraged to register online here or over the phone at 419-213-5627 before going, but they're also taking walk-ins. Just make sure to take your resume with you.