The “Help Wanted” signs may be gone from many store fronts, but some industries still feel the pinch.

“Things like hospitality, retail, a lot of those are at the height of season here in Lancaster. They’re still struggling to find employees to meet the demands,” said Heather Valudes, President and CEO at the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.

In the last 30 days,  Lancaster County has had over 14,000 online job ads. Heather Valudes is the new president at Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. She says competitive salaries is only one factor.

“How can a business meet what it’s demand is, what does it need in  talent and what are they doing to attract that and how do they all stay competitive at the same time,” Valudes said.  

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Valudes says not every business is in position to offer substantial packages.

“They may not be able to get to that hypercompetitive salary but they can offer other benefits to people,” Valudes said.

In the meantime, many have had to get creative.

“With restaurants, they’re not open for lunch any more or doing dinner hours or they don’t open on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. They’re only open Thursday to Sunday.”’

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It’s not just restaurants feeling it, so are hotels.

“Somebody’s covering the desk, checking people in who also has to be taken those reservations,” she said.

For now, Valudes says it’s a waiting game.

“It feels like there is a lot of uncertainty about a year from now in terms of the economic climate but we are seeing significant stabilization of what that workforce needs look like,” she said.  

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