SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – As work shortages continue, there are still some companies that have managed to make the most out of this challenging time. Paddio, an online mortgage company part of the Veterans United organization, moved to Springfield in August of 2020.
Senior Human Resources Business Partner Stephanie Johnson says Paddio started out with 20 workers. Now, it has 130.
“What really comes from that growth is just the transparency, and us trying to create a great environment for our employees to be a part of the organization,” Johnson said. “A lot of outreach, just trying to get established in the community. Obviously we are trying to be transparent and open and engaged in our community as much as we can.”
Employee referrals have also helped Paddio grow. Johnson says Paddio’s goal is to add 200 more workers by next year. For new businesses in the area, she has some advice on how to get started.
“It’s just focusing in that mission and tying it to what you do,” Johnson said. “Walking that talk and being engaged and letting our employees be engaged and be a part of that process. Creating an environment and a culture that they feel they can thrive in and be themselves. I would recommend to live that out in the day-to-day as well as the bigger picture.”
Paddio often works with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“They have been extremely supportive of our growth in the area,” Johnson said. “We’re also engaged in a lot of sponsorship activities, as well as other avenues in which we can get engaged.
While labor problems continue nationwide, Ryan Mooney says as of July, the unemployment rate in the Springfield metro area is under three percent. Mooney serves as the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Economic Development.
“It means basically anyone who wants a job can find one in the market,” Mooney said. “Companies are really being aggressive on creating a very unique culture, creating benefit packages and other amenities to their workplace that will entice workers to the workforce. If you’re a worker right now, now is a great time to get back into the workforce. Companies are being as flexible and dynamic and as creative as they can with the work environments that they have.”
Mooney says creativity from businesses has helped during the pandemic.
“Springfield’s economic outlook has been strong for a while,” Mooney said. “Not just in the areas you thought were going to do well during a pandemic like retail, sales and those sorts of things. But we saw manufacturing growth, we saw growth of back office operations, distribution. From industrial to office to retail, everything seemed to be growing in Springfield’s economy.”