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Green Bay’s customer service sector struggles to hire amid the “Great Resignation”

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Businesses in the restaurant and customer service sector are still having a hard time finding employees. That sentiment falls in line with federal data released Tuesday that shows employees are quitting in numbers not seen in more than 20 years.

Along with disrupted schools and supply chains, another product of Covid-19′s spread with the highly infectious Delta Variant is a rise in employees quitting.

“Most folks that are leaving their current place of employment are due to two primary reasons that have never been cited as primary reasons in the past. And that’s for low wages and less than flexible work schedules,” Matt Valiquette, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, said.

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

The businesses having a hard time finding employees are in the hospitality industry. That’s partly due to employees instead choosing industries such as manufacturing and health care where they can make more money and get time off.

Data from the United States Department of Labor showed in August 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, which represents 3% of the national workforce.

“We certainly haven’t seen that proportional number in our region but we certainly have seen voluntary quits in the rise,” Valiquette said. The Bay Area Workforce Development Board offers a scholarship with more than $100,000 available to train employees into fields such as construction and information technology.

Green Bay’s unemployment rate has been lower than the national average. according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, with the latest figures listing it at 3.6%.

“There is a lot of volatility in the labor market. I think a lot of people revaluating the careers that they’re engaged in right now, so that’s why it’s so vitally important to have the Bay Area Workforce Development Board,” Mayor Eric Genrich told Action 2 News.

Next Thursday, the mayor is hosting a town hall to discuss how to use the $23 million it received from the American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed earlier this year, although there are restrictions tied to the way the funds are spent.

“Hospitality and tourism that has some eligibility, so I think it’s prudent for us to take a look at that and determine what type of programming might qualify for that type of allocation so we can continue to assist our hospitality businesses,” Green Bay Alderperson Brian Johnson of district 9 said.

The mayor’s town hall will take place at 2740 W Mason St.

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