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Service industry struggling to find staff with return to normal life

Old Chicago opened their doors a month ago, doing their best to keep up with community support and demand. Something Greens Moving & Storage is falling short in as well.
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:20 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Worker shortages have hit businesses all across America as places reopen with loosened COVID restrictions.

In Rapid City, two different places are feeling the weight of not enough staff.

“Our goal was to open with around 120 people and we missed that mark tremendously,” said Ruben Amador, general manager of Old Chicago. “We opened with just over 80, so just under 40 short of what we needed. We’ve gone up but we’ve also lost people that just weren’t ready for the volume and to this day we’re still not 100% where we would like to be.”

“We typically have around six people that we carry year-round and then we try to get to 12 to 15 during the summer if possible but we’re still at about six to seven,” said Josh Tjeedsma, co-owner of Greens Moving & Storage. ”We did manage to find a couple young guys but at the same time, we had a couple of them leave so it hasn’t really changed much the total numbers.”

Old Chicago opened their doors a month ago, doing their best to keep up with community support and demand.

Something Greens Moving & Storage is falling short in as well.

“From a team standpoint, from our staff, it’s a little stressful because you’re having to do just a little bit more because with the community coming in, we’re just not able to staff the entire dining room and patio,” said Amador.

“We just have to take half the work I guess,’ continued Tjeerdsma. “We just have to turn down a lot of work. We just do what we can with what we have.”

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assitance ended in South Dakota Saturday, hopefully giving people a reason to get back into the workforce. But for some businesses, having a job opening may not be enough.

“We’ve always had a little bit of trouble getting employees, it’s a lot worse this year than it has been,” said Tjeerdsma. “The wages are getting higher for easier jobs and our wages have gotten significantly higher also but it’s hard to compete with everybody else raising their wages and with us being it’s kind of a physical job. We’re competing with everybody else in town obviously so we don’t have our hopes real high.”

Both Old Chicago and Greens Moving & Storage are currently hiring.

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