July 16, 2022
This Issues Topics:
Hiring • Lewis County

Lewis County businesses are still facing many challenges post-Covid these days. Between low numbers of applicants, finding qualified applicants, and retaining employees- the difficulties are plenty. There are many available jobs even for people with minimal experience.

Walmart, for example, was a participant in the Chamber’s Lewis County Hiring Event in June and are looking to hire 75 people. Manager Tabitha mentioned that they have raised their starting wage to $17/hour and even more for those working the graveyard shift. In addition to a salary well above minimum wage, Walmart also offers plenty of room for advancement, continuing education opportunities, and tuition programs.

Kendra from Great Wolf Lodge commented on how many opportunities her company has for promotion, stating that they have many locations in the US, and that they are rapidly expanding. Great Wolf Lodge employs about 650 people and once employed, many times will promote from within. Post-Covid they have become more flexible with scheduling, adding more part time positions, raise increases and referral bonuses.

The Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families who sponsored the Lewis County Hiring Event last month stated that their biggest hiring challenge has been raising awareness, and battling public misconceptions about what they do at Green Hill School. They have begun using social media and ads more to convey the message of making a positive impact on the young males that reside there.

Industrial employers attended the Hiring event as well, many with great starting wages, and on-site job training. MacCallum Rock, Chehalis Sheet Metal, Scot Industries, Greenbrier, and ZEV Technologies are a few. The one thing they all seem to be searching for is finding the right people for the job, who want to work. Covid has made hiring more difficult for employers, but if you are looking for work, the time has never been better to secure a job. From better starting wages to a variety of benefits, tuition and medical, there have never been more incentives to get a new job than now!

Biggest challenges:

  • Low number of applicants
  • Applicants ghost employer during interview process
  • Getting workers who want to work
  • Finding qualified applicants
  • Retention
  • Battling public misconceptions about work
  • Finding people who want to work

    Changes Post-covid- more employers are

    • Using Job Fair opportunities to find employees
    • Increasing starting wages, and raise increases
    • Offering referral bonuses
    • Offering sign-on bonuses
    • Increasing job marketing
    • More flexibility for family and personal
    • Reaching more applicants by social media, and job sites like Indeed.

    Community Priorities: Your opinions matter!

    One of my favorite quotes about surveys is “surveys show that surveys never lie.” And while that makes light of surveys, I do believe some surveys have merit and provide insight into our priorities. That is why each year I send out a survey via mail, e-mail, and on my website: RepresentativePeterAbbarno.com.
    The latest survey was sent out to the 20th Legislative District in late-January and the responses are still coming. To date, here are some of those results from the over 400 responses.

    read more

    February BAH: Professional & Personal Services Shined

    The February Business After Hours featured a variety of professional and personal services at Mint City Coffee Roasting’s newly opened coffee house.  The lively group of participating professionals offered an opportunity to become personally acquainted with an eclectic gathering of services.  The evening ended with a question answer session with roaster Kyle Askin.

    read more