Pekin businesses struggle to find workers

Local News

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Help is wanted at businesses across Pekin.

Some business owners said they rarely have trouble finding workers. Now, their number of applicants is down, and at times, they’re having to close since they don’t have the staff to stay open.

“The struggle is real, with everyone I’ve spoken to,” said Christina Abatie, the owner of Two P’s Pizza and Pub.

Abatie said her business is no different.

“Normally people will come in and they like our atmosphere and our environment and think, ‘This is a place I’d like to work,'” said Abatie.

Abatie said she posted on Facebook, offering on-the-spot interviews on Saturday. The post was shared more than 100 times.

“One person came in for an interview,” said Abatie.

The next day, Two P’s closed for the day due to staffing shortages.

“A lot of people jump to the ‘They make more on unemployment.’ I don’t think that’s necessarily the case for us,” said Abatie.

A new employee started Tuesday and said her coworkers were excited for her to start.

“I was filling out the application process and one of the other workers was like ‘Oh my god, finally. Thank you,'” said Garbrielle Nannen.

Two P’s isn’t the only place struggling to hire.

“For whatever reason, we’re just not getting the number of applicants like we usually do,” said Cameron Bettin, the executive director for the Pekin Park District.

Bettin said the hiring process has been frustrating.

“They don’t show up for the interview or maybe they show up for the first interview and you go to offer the position and they don’t call you back or don’t take it,” said Bettin.

He is not sure what is causing the shortage of workers.

“Everybody is struggling with hiring employees. We do hear that other places are offering more than the minimum wage, so that could be part of the issue as well,” said Bettin.

He said for now, the park district and its pools have enough employees to keep running.

Meanwhile, Abatie said Two P’s is looking for people who can work 20 to 30 hours a week. She said people can stop by to fill out an application.

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