Abilene businesses struggling to fill open job positions


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Abilene business owners say they’re having a hard time filling positions after reopening from the pandemic.

“My experience right now, it seems like all the unemployment benefits are making it harder to hire for our demographic,” says Shane Potter, general manager at Potter’s Pizza.

Potter says people are applying for the jobs, but not showing up to work.

“The more frustrating part is the ones who show up for the interview and like, ‘Yeah I really want to work here,’ so we call them back, tell them we want them to start, they say they are going to start, and then I stop interviewing or I stop trying to hire people, just to have them not show up,” says Potter.

According to Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, there are hundreds of job openings here in Abilene.

“We’ve got about 500 jobs in the local economy that employers have listed on WorkInTexas.com. That means about 1,400 positions available,” says Workforce Business Resource Consultant Steve Collins.

On average, Potter says he will schedule about 20 interviews a week, of which less than half will actually show up, forcing others to pick up the workload.

“Our goal is to keep delivery times to 35-45 minutes. With COVID, our delivery has gotten a lot busier, but I haven’t been able to hire delivery drivers, so we’re having a hard time keeping our delivery times as low as they were,” says Potter.

Although times are hard, Potter says they’re just happy to be in business.

“We still have a positive outlook. It’s just another business thing you’ve got to deal with,” says Potter.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the additional $300 per week for those on unemployment ended for Texans Sept. 5 due to limited federal funds.

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