Is anyone else experiencing this?
As I drive to work in the morning, I see a “We’re Hiring!” sign then a “Now Hiring!” sign and then a “Apply Now!” sign and then, as I turn into the parking lot at Hartman, I see our own, “Warehouse Help Wanted” sign. The problem is, no one is to be found and no one is answering.
The disruption is not just in the supply chain of materials.
COVID-19 has not only disrupted the material supply chain but the employment side as well. It’s not that people don’t want to work, but it’s because they are still afraid, and I don’t blame them. Thus far the treatment for this virus is non-medical: wash your hands, put the mask on whether you like it or not, and keep your distance from those not in your contact circle. Don’t shake hands and for crying out loud, NO HUGGING! There’s no prescription drug available to ward off this affliction. No one wants to be a statistic or see someone they love fall. Unless you are part of the essential workforce or can work from home, your options are few to none. If you are a single parent, your kids are most likely participating in a hybrid school. You need to work, but you also need to stay home. Not sure how that works.
Still, there is good news.
Despite all of this, I see new construction as I drive to work and elsewhere. In my little corner of the world, there are businesses expanding. Yes, it is heartbreaking to hear of another restaurant permanently closing its doors due to the restrictions imposed by the state of Pennsylvania, but seeing new stuff happening – it’s immensely encouraging. As a distributor of fasteners: collated nails, staples, etc. and packaging: boxes, void-fill, tape, and more, we’ve been able to hold our own. We’re fortunate that no one has fallen ill and we’ve not had to lay anyone off. We are seeing the accounts and businesses that came online after having to shut down beginning to pick up a bit more. There’s a sense of momentum now, and our hope for our company, and the nation, is increasing.
What amazes me the most is the resilience of the American worker, the American entrepreneur, the American business owner, and yes, those not born here – immigrants like my grandparents and great grandparents who trekked thousands of miles to get to a port and travelled across the ocean to get away from poverty and hardship, even one grandparent who was part of the Orphan Trains – that in spite of everything coming against us (yes, I am including myself) we are finding a way to get it done, to move forward, and keep it all going.
My sincere hope is that the fear that is understandably keeping people away from jumping into the employment pool will soon dissipate. All those “Help Wanted” signs are looking for people just like you. And if you want to join a great group of people and you like to wear t-shirts and jeans and you can lift 70 pounds unassisted and working in a warehouse appeals to you, stop in or contact Hartman – we’re hiring!