St. Charles area firms head to farm country to recruit employees

Frustrated with the tight labor market in St. Charles, local businesses are sending recruiters to rural Illinois for a job fair, planned by the city of St. Charles Economic Development office, on March 28.

St. Charles manufacturers such as Craftsmen Industries, LMI Aerospace, Patriot Machine and Trinity Products hope to hire at the fair, to be held in Effingham, Ill., a town of 12,000 people. Ameristar Casino, Embassy Suites hotels and the St. Charles Convention Center are also sending recruiters.

The St. Louis metro unemployment rate hit 4.3 percent in November, a 15-year low. The rate in St. Charles County was 2.8 percent, not adjusted for seasonal changes.

A recruiting trip to farm country is unusual for metro area employers, but St. Charles businesses are finding it hard to recruit in the metro area, said David Leezer, St. Charles economic development director. Workers are jumping from company to company for better pay, he said, while the supply of trained workers isn’t expanding.

St. Charles companies are looking for unskilled labor along with those with skills in areas such as welding, finance, production, project management, engineering and others.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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