Kentucky’s teens are the gold mine for help; companies need workers

Now that school is out for the summer, teens are entering the seasonal workforce. But in June, companies are still looking for workers.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – We’ve all seen the “employee wanted” signs in store windows lately.

Across the country, many industries are experiencing labor shortages and businesses are struggling to find enough employees.

Some business owners are hoping that when the kids get out of school it will help alleviate the worker shortage, Louisville Dairy Del’s ice cream shop is still hurting employees.

“We still need help, I mean I need people, we’re really short of people,” said Wayne Madison, owner of Dairy Del.

Madison hires children as young as 14 to work at the ice cream shop. Sometimes these kids come back summer after summer until they leave high school.

But right now, Madison is struggling to hire these young workers, and she is short about eight employees.

“This year is different, I don’t know what it is,” Madison said. “We haven’t received a lot of nominations this year.

Madison isn’t the only local business owner hurting workers. Kentucky Kingdom is looking for 300 additional workers to fill the vacancies this summer.

“The positions we are looking for are primarily food, rides and water sports,” said Carly Uglow, Director of Group Sales and Special Events.

Kentucky Kingdom also hires a lot of high school and college children, who then come back to work the following summer as well. This is how senior supervisor Tyler Quiggins started at the amusement park in 2018.

“I had a few friends applying here, so I applied here as well and got the job,” Quiggins said.

The Kentucky Kingdom hosts hiring events and uses social media to publicize available jobs, but relies heavily on word of mouth.

“We depend on a lot of our team members to get their friends over and tell them it’s a fun place to work and try to get their friends to come with them as well,” Uglow said.

Uglow said it is not a new struggle, every year it is difficult to hire enough people to fill all the positions. They hope to fill these positions by July.

Since the school closed for the summer, Kentucky Kingdom has not seen a huge increase in applications and hopes to fill those vacancies by July.

Madison is also hoping to recruit workers sooner rather than later, telling anyone looking for a job that it will be a job they are sure to like.

“It’s fun, I mean the fun of ice cream,” Madison said. “Everyone loves ice cream.

Dairy Del had to cut back on hours because they don’t have enough employees and are still looking to see if you are interested in finding a summer job.

Contact reporter Rose McBride at rmcbride@whas11.com Or on Facebook or Twitter.

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