Yakima businesses need workers, according to one local nonprofit

Image credit: Paul Sancya

YAKIMA, Wash. — Unemployment has been a major topic of conversation since the coronavirus threat emerged in the early stages of 2020. It’s been over a year since thousands of people lost their jobs and with businesses re-opening, certain jobs are returning to the market.

That’s why the Yakima Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is highlighting the fact that there are jobs available in the region. Yakima SHRM President Jon Smith has heard from small business owners firsthand about their need to fill positions with businesses re-opened.

“We’re hearing the same message from all types of business,” Smith said. “From fast food to hospitality and even manufacturing, HR Managers are struggling to fill open positions. The job market is definitely in recovery, but employers are asking, ‘Where are the workers?'”

Well, that’s a complicated question to answer. For certain individuals, staying home is a must due to underlying health conditions that put them at risk to COVID-19. For others, staying home makes the most sense due to the rising cost of childcare. Everyone has a different reason, but time is of the essence.

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As former Yakima SHRM President Tina Powers suggested, “Some people are making more from unemployment by staying at home.”

However, the clock is ticking on those unemployment benefits. Under normal circumstances, individuals would be required to document their job searches, but the Governor and state legislature suspended this requirement on March 8, 2020. Amy Martinez, CEO, South Central Workforce Council, hopes the requirement is reinstated soon.

“We hear from businesses everyday that post jobs online, put up help wanted banners out front, and signs on their doors. While they might be lucky enough to schedule some interviews, people no show,” Martinez said. “Right now is a great time to look for work. There are lots of openings and not much competition.”

Yakima SHRM is a regional, non-profit association and affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). To learn more about them, click here.


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