Local businesses turn to incentives and job fairs to help fill vacancies

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many local businesses have struggled to keep a full staff.

With the fall set to begin in a matter of weeks, many seasonal workers will be headed back to school leaving more of a gap.

“Normally this time of year, it is cyclical. You see people exiting the workforce and then starting to re-enter in August when school resumes and the kids are back in school. So there are more activities and job seekers seeking employment. As the summer wears in,” Becky Samarippa, CareerSource Gulf Coast said.

But in the last couple of years, many local businesses have run into trouble hiring positions no matter the time of year.

“We’re very short staffed but we work through it,” Crystal Harrison, a Sonic Manager at the Thomas Drive location said.

In an effort to help with staffing issues, businesses have started offering incentives.

Places like Sonic on Thomas Drive are giving a $300 sign-on bonus.

“So after you start after 30 days, you get $200 and after 60 (days), you get $100,” Harrison said.

There’s another way they’re trying to attract employees.

“A couple of weeks ago, First Lady Casey DeSantis launched the mission “Continue the Mission”, this is an opportunity for local agencies. They come together and support veterans, retired veterans, their spouses, and retired law enforcement helping them get back into the career field,” Kecia Crawford, NWF Health Network Community Relations Specialist said.

Organizations like Northwest Florida Health Network and CareerSource Gulf Coast, are offering job fairs and career placement events to help.

“Even though our unemployment rate went up slightly from May to June, from our historical low of 2.1 to 2.7. It’s still a job seekers market,” Samarripa said.

There is one takeaway CareerSource wants potential employees to know.

“There are lots of opportunities for job seekers, and we really urge them if they are looking to re-enter the workforce or look for a new career. Now is a great time to do it, there are plenty of jobs available,” Samarippa said.

For more information on jobs available, visit these respective links:

CareerSource Gulf Coast, or call 850-872-4340

NWF Health Network


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