Service sector

Green Bay’s customer service industry struggles to hire amid ‘Great Resignation’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Businesses in the restaurant and customer service industry are still struggling to find employees. That sentiment matches federal data released Tuesday that shows employees are quitting in numbers not seen in more than 20 years.

Besides disrupted schools and supply chains, another product of the spread of Covid-19 with the highly contagious Delta variant is an increase in the number of employees quitting.

“Most people who leave their current workplace are due to two main reasons that have never been cited as main reasons in the past. And that is for low wages and less than flexible working hours”, said Matt Valiquette, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.

A ribbon cutting was held Tuesday for a new location for the Bay Area Workforce Development Board at 520 N Broadway.

Companies that are struggling to find employees are in the hospitality industry. This is partly because employees are instead choosing industries such as manufacturing and healthcare where they can earn more money and get time off.

Data from the United States Department of Labor showed in August that 4.3 million Americans left their jobs, representing 3% of the national workforce.

“We certainly haven’t seen that proportional number in our area, but we’ve definitely seen voluntary departures increase,” Valiquette said. The Bay Area Workforce Development Board has a scholarship of more than $100,000 available to train employees in fields such as construction and information technology.

Green Bay’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average. according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, with the latest numbers putting it at 3.6%.

“There is a lot of volatility in the job market. I think a lot of people are reassessing the careers they’re in right now, which is why having the Bay Area Workforce Development Board is so important,” Mayor Eric Genrich told Action 2 News.

Next Thursday, the mayor is hold a public meeting to discuss the use of the $23 million it received from the US bailout that President Joe Biden signed earlier this year, although there are restrictions on how the funds are spent.

“Hospitality and tourism that have some eligibility, so I think it’s prudent for us to look at that and figure out what kind of program might be eligible for that kind of stipend so we can continue to help our hospitality businesses,” Green Bay Alderperson Brian Johnson of District 9 said.

The Mayor’s Town Hall will be held at 2740 W Mason St.

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