Branson employers struggle to fill job openings

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BRANSON, Mo.– Help wanted signs are lining the streets of Branson, as employers try to fill open jobs. Branson is a tourism town with mostly seasonal workers, but many business owners believe people are staying home on unemployment.

“A lot of people will respond initially, but then when you try to contact them nobody answers their phones, so it seems like a lot of people are putting it out there to say that they’re doing something, but continuing to relax on unemployment,” said Carolyn Kuyatt.

Kuyatt works for Vista Tees and she says her team is more short-staffed this year than ever before.

“Normally, around this time of year, we would have people just walk in off the street and inquire about jobs, and that’s how we do a lot of our hiring, but this year nobody is coming in,” said Kuyatt.

Some businesses have gone to great lengths to try to entice some new employees. Calvin Thomas is the front-end manager for the new Famous Daves BBQ and says the company is offering extra money.

“Like right now, we’re offering a $500 cash bonus to try to get people staffed-in,” said Thomas.

Famous Daves BBQ had its grand opening Monday, April 12, and franchise owner, Dave Jones, says it’s a challenge for everyone in the city to be fully staffed.

“At the end of the day, we actually do have two locations and it is very tough,” said Jones. “Everybody knows the staffing issues we’re going through in this industry and you know it’s about family like I said. You make a family atmosphere and you get people who want to work for you.”

Since there are fewer people working in the city, some staff are getting pushed to the brink.

“Everyone just kind of works themselves to death,” said Kuyatt.

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