Panhandle companies retain workers through higher wages, better working conditions

Local News

MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — While a record 4.4 million people quit their jobs throughout the United States in September, the Panhandle did not face the same issues.

Instead, local job agencies are seeing decreases in the number of people they are helping. That’s due to companies throughout the area increasing wages and offering better working conditions.

“You’ve got to decide, do you want to be the University of Alabama, winning those national titles, or do you want to go off and do you want to be a division three school,” Richard Williams, the Executive Director of Marianna Career Source said.

Williams said that better local jobs have led to more people staying home, in the Panhandle.

“We’ve tried to push real hard on people finding local jobs,” Williams said. “There was a time when people from this area felt like they had to go somewhere else to find a good job and I think we’ve done a good job of helping them understand we’ve got good jobs right here at home.” 

Williams said that the unemployment rate in counties like Bay County, Washington County, Calhoun County and Walton County fell from August to September. Those rates also fell from September 2020 to September 2021. 

“We’ve had you know some good success with employers,” Williams said. “We recently had one that came into the area. We helped them get over 100 applicants for 18 jobs. And in fact, they cut us off and told us they had all they needed and got some really good people.”

People that may have not been qualified for jobs in the past, may now be able to find jobs in fields that they are interested in.

“We’re also telling people that maybe had a hard time finding a job in the past because of background issues, that we’ve got employers today that are willing to take a chance on them, that maybe wouldn’t have before,” Williams said.

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