MOUNT VERNON — Knox County is doing very well in the manufacturing and industrial sector, Steve Waers, president of the Area Development Foundation, told the Knox County Commissioners on Monday.
“In every sector, we are at more employees in 2011 than we were in 2006 when Knox County was at its top,” he said. “We have expansions going on. Some of our smaller companies are having banner years. We have about 200 job openings between 10 to 12 companies, but there is a problem filling those jobs. Our unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, but we can’t find people to fill these jobs. Companies are having to go outside the county to find workers.”
Waers said some of the openings are for skilled workers such as engineers, but the majority of the jobs, which start at $10 or more per hour, are entry-level production associate positions that are not labor-intensive jobs. Even when a position is filled, he said, there is a problem with getting those new employees to show up for work. He said several employers have reported a newly hired person may show up for work one day, then never return.
Waers said the reasons for individuals quitting the job so soon are unclear at this point. The News checked with the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services to see if the extension of unemployment benefits could be a factor.