JACKSON – Business owners in Jackson are looking to hire employees and are offering competitive wages and possibly a signing bonus, according to the president of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Chisholm, who is the chamber president and a member of the Jackson Township Council, works for a family business, Aspen Tree Expert Co. He said this week that the operators of local businesses need help.
“I just got back from an Economic Development Committee meeting (May 20) and they reaffirmed what I already had heard and seen for myself, and that is a resounding yes, businesses need help.
“Five of the six businesses represented (at the EDC meeting) are hiring and they are having a difficult time finding not only qualified help, but even entry level applicants,” Chisholm said in an interview.
He clarified that he was referring to Councilman Marty Flemming, who owns a hardware store, and Clara Glory, who own Glory’s Market, and to himself as businesses he spoke about that are attempting to fill positions such as mechanics, butchers and tree climbers.
“Whether you are hiring a mechanic, a butcher, a tree climber, counter service help or sales people, there is a labor shortage, and the economic recovery is being further slowed by the Governor’s refusal to eliminate the extra unemployment stimulus money and the requirement to search for work,” Chisholm said.
“The breakfast stop this morning and the gas station this evening also had ‘Help Wanted’ signs posted. This is pretty much the trend I have seen all over Monmouth and Ocean counties as I drive around, and it is apparently widespread in Jackson as well.
“There are plenty of good jobs to be had for anyone who wants to work. Based on not only my industry, but everyone else in business I have spoken to, the base pay and benefits have all gone up over the last year and almost every non-entry level position is already being paid more than the $15 minimum wage the Governor is trying to push for.
“Many businesses are offering $20 to $30 per hour, depending on the job and skill level, plus benefits,” Chisholm said, adding that some business owners may also be offering a signing bonus to entice people to work.