Elkhart Launches Plan to Recruit Hurricane-Stricken Workers

There’s a plan in place to aggressively and immediately attack Elkhart County’s labor shortage.

The plan calls for filling open local positions with folks who now live far away.

This story Mark Peterson originally appeared NBC 16 WNDU.

In August, Elkhart County had the lowest unemployment rate in Indiana (3 percent), and an estimated number of unfilled positions as high as 20,000.

A $95,000 workforce attraction plan has been put in place to tell Elkhart County’s story of job opportunity to faraway places with high unemployment using billboards, radio spots, and social media. Some of these targeted areas will include Texas and Florida where people may want to escape hurricane-prone spots. The campaign also would target those employed in the coal industry.

Mark Dobson, executive director of Elkhart County’s Economic Development Corp., hopes the Workforce Attraction Plan campaign will start in about two weeks.

There’s already a long-term plan in place to address the worker shortage. Nearly 2,000 Elkhart County eighth-graders have toured factories this week and last.

While a big part of Dobson’s job has traditionally been to lure new jobs to town, the labor shortage has kept him on the defensive.

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