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Palm Beach County struggles to find qualified workers

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The pandemic is making it tough for a lot of industries to find qualified workers. But the hospitality and restaurant industries aren't the only ones struggling to find employees. Municipalities in South Florida are also facing similar challenges — and have lots of unfilled jobs.

Leilani Yan is manager of recruitment and selection for the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Yan said: "At Palm Beach County and really other entities public and private, we are all struggling to find applicants for a large number of openings that have been generated over the last two to two and a half years."

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Yan believes this is a national problem and COVID has made some workers re-prioritize their career goals.

"Workers are coming back to the workforce in a different way — making this a job-seekers market," she said. "Some people are very happy with a more of a gig economy approach where they’re looking at two or three jobs — none of which is a full-time arrangement or something that is really more flexible than large employers like ourselves, with over 6,000 employees, can necessarily, consistently provide."

Palm Beach County is currently advertising at least 90 open positions. Yan said the number of applicants is lower than average. "There are more openings than there are persons in the local labor market."

Yvonne Bertucci zum Tobel discovered public radio during a road trip in 1994 and has been a fan ever since. She has experience writing and producing television news. As a freelance reporter for WLRN, she hopes to actively pursue her passion for truth in journalism, sharpen her writing skills and develop her storytelling techniques.