Wichita restaurants forced to get creative while dealing with fewer workers

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WICHITA, Kansas (KSNW) – Some Kansas businesses are struggling to find workers. This forces some to change the time or even close.

Some companies felt that they were in competition with unemployment benefits for workers. Federal benefits expire next week.

The Wichita Workforce Alliance expects applicants to flock, and vacancies abound.

Restaurants like Rene’s Mexican have run out of help.

“We are closed because there are no workers,” said Laurena Ortega.

Ortega says that with some of the staff on vacation, it left them with no choice but to close their location in the west for a week.

“Because people don’t want to work, because of all these advantages that we give them, because of that, I can’t find employees. Nobody wants to work. They don’t need it. They get money and they get money, ”Ortega said.

The Wichita Workforce Alliance is preparing to change.

“The federal employment programs that were added during the pandemic are all running out this week. In the past, when we’ve seen unemployment programs run out, we’ve seen a lot of people re-enter the workforce and start looking for work, ”said Amanda Duncan, Wichita Workforce Alliance.

For others, the labor shortage comes unexpectedly.

“The contractor came in and started the project, but they had staff issues related to COVID and informed us that they were going to be successful for about a week,” said Dan Squires, Derby’s deputy general manager for the development. .

Construction cones now line part of Rock Road in Derby, but no workers are expected to return until September 9.

“We don’t expect a long delay, but you know, as we’ve learned with COVID, you know next week is another week and who knows what the next turn of events might be, but the project can get done, and we’re ‘we’re lucky on this project, that when they’re not working, it doesn’t affect traffic.

The Wichita Workforce Center will host a virtual multi-employer job fair on September 9 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register for the job fair, Click here.


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