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Help Wanted: Businesses in WV face challenges with hiring and keeping workers during pandemic

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Since the pandemic, the narrative of job fairs have changed. Employers are now hoping they make a lasting impression on job seekers in hopes to gain new employees, as many businesses have struggled to hire or keep workers over the last year.

As of now, there are about 24,000 unemployed West Virginians. With many jobs available, Governor Jim Justice announced last week that the additional $300 pandemic unemployment assistance will end by mid-June. The governor believes this will bring new applicants to local businesses.

“We need everybody back to work, our small businesses and economy depend on it,” Justice said.

Many companies at the job fair in Marion County are some of those who are in need of workers after the changes covid-19 brought to the workplace.

“We found that a lot of our employees had to adjust on the fly and while many did, many weren’t comfortable,” state manager of Washington National , Jeffrey Osborne said.

As for Stacey Parker, from a coal mining business known as Jennmar services, she believes money is a huge factor.

“It’s frustrating on an employer part in all industries,” she said.

Which is why she says their company has tried to make adjustments.

“We offer paid training to go underground, we have raised our rates for underground workers and some of our other positions that we have,” Parker said.

As the problem continues, officials plan to hold another job fair in June.

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