Young employees heading back-to-school intensifies workforce shortage

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Businesses all over KELOLAND have been dealing with a shortage of workers for months, but a change in seasons is putting even more of a strain on managers trying to schedule staff.

As busses are returning kids to the classroom this week and college students are moving back to campus, retailers and restaurants around KELOLAND are missing even more workers.

“A majority of our crew are high school kids and college kids. So with them heading back, we definitely have taken a hit there,” MacKenzie River manager Austin Whitley said.

MacKenzie River Pizza has been short on staff all summer.

“We could definitely use another six to 12 good sets of hands,” Whitley said.

But with school back in session, they’re having to make some adjustments to make sure they have enough help.

“We’ve had to shut down tables, go to a limited menu,” Whitley said. “When it’s really hitting hard we do have to shut our online ordering off.”

“Just trying to get it out there that we’re hiring,” Running District Manager Larry Healy said.

At Runnings Sioux Falls stores, the size of the sign illustrates the need.

“Between the two stores we could hire a dozen pretty easily,” Healy said.

Some of the hardest times to fill are the mornings and noon hours now that school is back in session.

“Some of them are starting football, I’ve got great kids that are on Harrisburg Football team and different things, that depletes my staff a little more,” Healy said.

For employees heading to college, Runnings is doing everything it can to keep its workers with the company.

“Runnings has a lot of stores all over, I have one gal transferring to Bismarck, and another girl going up to Brookings, some of them are transferring out,” Healy said.

Yet another reason he’s focused on recruiting.

“This is my most challenging job is finding help out there,” Healy said.

A familiar feeling for many managers in town.

“It’s been rough,” Whitley said. “All of the friends we have in the industry are all saying the same thing right now.”

To cope with the continued shortage of workers, many businesses are starting to reduce hours or even close their doors more days of the week. We’ll have more on how companies are getting creative to continue serving customers in Wednesday’s Your Money Matters at 10.

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