April 7, 2021
This may sound bizarre following an economic lockdown that caused more than 20 million jobs to evaporate, but many US companies can't find enough employees to fill their open positions.

First, the headline stat: US job openings surged to a two-year high in February, the Labor Department said yesterday. That number blew past economists' expectations and, when paired with last Friday's A+ jobs report, shows that employers are ready to hand out offer letters like Lyft discount codes. 

If only there were workers to accept them.

Which sectors are having recruitment trouble?  

Restaurants: On April 21, Taco Bell is holding interviews in thousands of parking lots, and candidates don't even have to get out of their cars to apply. The goal is to hire at least 5,000 people in a single day to keep up with demand for Quesalupas. 

  • Other restaurant execs are facing similar issues. The staffing situation is a "total nightmare," the CEO of Johnny Rockets owner FAT Brands told Reuters.

Airlines: Last week, United told staff it plans to hire hundreds of pilots to meet the growing itch to travel. Delta was forced to cancel almost 100 flights over Easter weekend due to a pilot shortage. 

Manufacturing: Factory activity in the US hit its highest level in 37 years in March, but it would've been higher had there been enough qualified workers to helm production lines. If anyone reading this is a trained welder, there’s a good-paying job for you. 

What's going on? 
The speed and force of the economic recovery have surprised some employers that dramatically lowered their payrolls last year. 

Business owners also point to the extra unemployment benefits from the $1.9 trillion stimulus package for keeping would-be workers at home, although research from earlier in the pandemic concluded that the extra weekly benefits did not disincentivize work
Bottom line: When the job market tightens → salaries get a bump and HR departments start throwing around referral bonuses. Applebee’s is paying $3,000 for manager referrals after the first six months. (Source: Morning Brew)
The Abilene Chamber and Abilene Industrial Foundation continue to hear a recurring theme from conversations with the business community about the lack of an available workforce. While not unique to Abilene, your Chamber is working to find creative resources for you and your business. Please complete this short two-minute survey to help our team determine the best course of action.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Join Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas for a virtual job fair. The Spring 2021 regional virtual hiring event will connect multiple employers to West Central Texans looking for jobs in one online space. There is no cost for employers or job seekers to participate. Click HERE to register!
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

It’s no secret Abilene will soon be home to the B-21 Raider and we want to ensure YOU are prepared to work and secure contracts with Government. To arm you with the best proposal writing techniques, pricing methods and more, join us at our Government Contracting Training! More info.
Dyess AFB Aviation and Maintenance Career Fair
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Join the Dyess Airman & Family Readiness Center and Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas for an Aviation & Maintenance Career Fair! There is no cost for employers or job seekers to participate. In-person and priority access for Active Duty, Retirees/Veterans, Spouses/Family Members, and DoD Civilians! Public job seekers may attend virtually. Click HERE for more info.
You have the idea and the determination to make it happen, and we have the entrepreneurship resources to help you take your idea or business to the next level.
Join us for the inaugural West Texas Entrepreneurship Bootcamp sponsored by Perry Hunter Hall, Inc. Together with our community partners, we’ll help you gain the entrepreneurial mindset and relevant skills it takes to successfully launch or grow your business.
A program of the Abilene Industrial Foundation in partnership with the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and Develop Abilene.

  • Option to attend AM session (8:45 – 12:00), PM session (12:45 – 4:00), or both. Lunch is included in the ticket price.  
  • AM session is more foundational (business plan, funding, legal considerations, and “What is Your Entrepreneurial Story?” panel)
  • PM is geared more towards the established entrepreneur (how to grow your business through effective marketing, business expansion panel, “State of Abilene Business” presentation, and how to get involved through the Chamber)
  • Day will conclude with voluntary happy hour

For tickets or more information, click here.

Check out openings in Abilene!! Postings are a free benefit for Abilene businesses - let us know if you'd like to add yours to the listing! 


Looking for an intern? Need an internship? You need AbileneWorks.com. Postings are a free!

ABOUT: Workforce Wednesday content and newsletter is created in partnership with the Abilene Chamber, the Abilene Industrial Foundation and the Development Corporation of Abilene - Develop Abilene Team.