Now hiring. Where are the people?

| 09 Jun 2021 | 03:41

    NOW HIRING. Where are the people? The signs are posted in store fronts, lawns and bill boards for all to see, Now Hiring. Businesses are experiencing such a shortage of staff that restaurants that were shuttered just a few months ago, are turning away patrons because the business cannot service them. As the summer months draws closer and Americans are eager to enjoy the great outdoors, beaches and community pools will need to limit the number of people, due to a shortage of life-guards. I ask you, where are the people to fill the thousands of vacancies, in most cities and towns, across the country. On May 11, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report stating, “The number of job openings reached a series high of 8.1 million on the last business day of March, an increase of 597,000. The increase occurred in the following industries; accommodation, food services, education, arts entertainment and recreation. ( Where are the potential employees, who could be working to sustain their families, earn wages and pay taxes to grow our communities? They are incarcerated. According to reports issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1980 the total number of Americans who were incarcerated in state and federal prisons was approximately 500,000. Today, that number has increased to over 1.8 million people. Many of whom were wrongfully convicted due to substance abuse and other petty crimes. America, we have created this extreme short-fall of skilled labor by selfishly placing innocent people in jails and prisons, for the past 30 years. Beginning with the “war-on-drugs” in the 1980s when black and brown people were instantly arrested, tried in a court of law and expeditiously convicted. Wake up America, we are spitefully hurting ourselves. If we do not stop this vicious cycle, it will impact us more than simply experiencing longer lines in the stores, or unable to dine out. Our families and small businesses are experiencing the impact in many other ways. Employers do not have sufficient staff to care for people with disabilities and the elderly. Let us also remember that the population is aging, which creates even a larger shortage of people willing to work in the service sector. We need to stop the pupil to prison pipeline and invest in education, which is an investment in our country. When we all work for the betterment of each other, it will be a benefit for us and the future generations of this great country.

    Jaye Kelly