BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the economy continues to rebound after the pandemic and through out-of-control inflation, industries across Western New York are struggling with finding enough workers.
“We have been just so short-staffed, I mean just in general like every other industry right? It seems as though there’s never enough to go around,” said Laura Stratton, who’s the strategic information officer with Twin City Ambulance.
Stratton said they need at least 20 more people to join their team, but that it’s been a struggle to find people interested in being an EMT.
“We even hold a class to train people to be an EMT, offer them a full-time position with extremely good benefits and it’s still difficult to get people in the door,” she said.
Twin City Ambulance isn’t the only industry in need of workers.
“Over the last year it’s been very difficult having enough staff to open as many locations as we could, we did see ourselves have to scale back and not open some of our dining operations and focus on our core areas to better feed our students,” said Ray Kohl, who’s the director of marketing and communications at UB.
UB held a job fair at the Walden Galleria on Tuesday, looking for people to work as cooks, prep employees and cashiers.
“Providing them a great work experience, a fun atmosphere, to feel comfortable where they want to come to work everyday,” Kohl said.
When it comes to why so many places are having a tough time recruiting people, economics professor Fred Floss from Buffalo State said people don’t have as much of interest in entry-level jobs like they used to.
“Young people aren’t going into the workforce the same way. Where it used to be: everyone had a job when they were 16 or 17 worked at a Tim Hortons or pizza place, now they’re not doing that as much,” he said.
Floss said convenience in hours, better pay and whether they can work from home are also factors.
“A lot of people are looking to work from home, because it worked out well for them,” he said. “So if you’re in a business that’s trying to attract people, and you’re saying you have to come into the office, it’s probably going to be harder for you to be able to get people to work.”