Businesses still struggling to find workers; Messiah Lifeways raises minimum wage to $15

Carlisle/West Shore

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Many businesses are having to cut back hours because they can’t get people to fill their job openings.

Some blame the workers, others blame the pay. But either way, businesses are still struggling.

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At Capital Joe coffee shop in Mechanicsburg, the need for employees is apparent.

“We’ve been staffed up to about 13 baristas before the pandemic started,” Assistant Manager Steven Krotow said.

But now they’re down to six across two locations.

“This week we normally close at eight. This week we’re closing at five. And that’s just because of our short staffing.”

It’s a similar story across the area; a need recognized by the Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve had a number of employers who have called us asking are you having a job fair? Because everyone is looking for help,” Jeff Palm, executive director of the Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce, said.

Long-term care facility Messiah Lifeways has more than 60 positions open.

“We recognize that our industry’s not unique. There’s labor shortages across many industries,” said Karl Brummer, senior vice president and incoming president and CEO of Messiah Lifeways.

Effective September 5, its minimum wage will go up from $12.20 to $15 an hour.

“We want to make sure that we are an employer of choice, so we want to make sure that not only are wages fair, but people feel like this is a career that they can grow with and that we care deeply about our team members,” Brummer said.

The change affects nearly a quarter of their workforce, along with raises for other employees too.

“They give every day on a day in day out basis so we try to offer great things besides just pay, great benefits, opportunities for advancement and growth,” Brummer said.

“At this point, the market is telling us what it needs to be and right now it’s saying OK, maybe the only way to attract somebody is to raise that money,” Palm said.

Krotow hopes to see more applications from high schoolers as they go back to school and want to make some extra cash.

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