Wichita, Kan. (KAKE)- As many Wichita businesses face a pandemic worker shortage, some of them are holding on to hope that teens could lessen the burden this summer.
With hundreds of teens out of the classroom, there are nearly 6,000 jobs in South-Central Kansas that are going unfilled. Some Wichita business owners have criticized the coronavirus pandemic as the root cause of the current crisis.
“There isn’t a restaurant or a business that you can’t drive by or get on Facebook or Social Media and see people hiring,” said Rene Steven, Director of Operations for Spangles Restaurants.
Steven said the pandemic saw more of their customers taking advantage of drive-thru service but even as things have returned to normal Spangles has seen an uptick in business. Steven said she’s constantly looking for hardworking employees to fill those roles, but many Kansans are not answering the call to work.
“We need people to come to work,” said Steven. “And some people aren’t ready to come to work.”
Steven said the problem may be contributed to Kansans not feeling comfortable returning to the workforce after struggling during personally or financially during the pandemic. She said there’s a definitive need for employers across many businesses like Spangles and hiring teens may help turn the tide.
“They wanna get out, they wanna go do something,” said Steven. “And some of that is going to get a job and feel needed and feel valued.”
Some Wichita teens, like 15-year-old Adam Bosworth, have already taken the initiative. Bosworth said he’s working two jobs over the summer and is really enjoying the experience so far.
“It’s really good, like I’m not just sitting in my house all day on my phone,” said Bosworth. “Like I’m out there doing something and it just makes me feel good.”
For more information on which jobs are available across the state you can visit the KansasWorks website.