He also stated that the sometimes unpleasant nature of many jobs was another factor.
Elrod stated that not many people would like to be out in the cold digging a trench to fix a water main break. Many people don’t want to be in the rain or on the back of a garbage truck in the early morning.
Wentz also mentioned COVID-19 as a factor in the hiring difficulties.
Wentz stated that the fear of contracting COVID in the sanitation division is the reason. You have to deal with all the trash in the city. It is impossible to know who has it or who doesn’t.
Staff in the city face pressure from more than the threat of becoming sick. Wentz stated that many of his department’s employees have young children and that disruptions at schools have prevented them from working at times.
Elrod stated that recruitment has been more difficult than retention for the city. Elrod attributes this at least in part the higher wages offered to them by other employers.
Elrod stated that if we feel a job is worth $14 an hour, and we can’t get that rate up, it won’t be attractive to someone who wants jobs that pay $16, $17, or $18 an hour. If they don’t read the job description or look at the benefits, or come to us for an interview to discuss how they are different, then they really aren’t looking at what we offer.