Page 8 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
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Bernardston, MA (413) 648- 9101
 Meredith Wise
says the escalating challenges facing employers looking to hire are prompting wage skirmishes in some sectors.
of many issues to contend with. Another is the inability, or unwilling- ness, on the part of most states, including this one, to enforce the basic rules pertaining to unemployment eligibility.
  “Most of the states have done away with the requirement that people on unemployment actively look for work,” said Meredith Wise, president and CEO of the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast, which has seen its hotline handle a number of calls related to this matter and a host of related issues. “In pre-pandemic times, if people were on unemployment, they had to prove that they were physically out there looking for work — applying for jobs, looking at the help-wanted ads, and actively seeking work. And those with the
state would occasionally ask them to prove that
they were doing all this. With the pandemic, the
employment offices have been overrun, and states
took away that requirement that you were looking
for work.” | Fax: 413 731 7268
Life’s a Journey.
Let us walk the road with you. It’s what we do.
 Pat Grenier, Principal
[email protected]
MA One Monarch Place, Suite 810 Springfield, MA 01144
413 736 6712
CT 265 Main Street Wethersfield, CT 06109
860 721 7880
  Securities and advisory services offered through Cadaret Grant & Co., Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser and member FINRA/SIPC. Grenier Financial Advisors and Cadaret Grant are separate entities.
Most of the
  Perhaps the best hopes for area employers are that returning college students and area high- school students soon to be off for the summer might increase the pool of applicants — and that the unemployment benefits are due to expire in September.
But even those hopes are tempered by the real- ization that September is a ways off, and the ben- efits may well be extended by elected officials who have already shown a willingness to do that.
states have done away with the requirement that people on unemployment actively look for work.
      8 APRIL 28, 2021
For this issue, we look at what they’re up against and what they doing in the face of this growing challenge to their ongoing success.
Labor Pains
As they talked with BusinessWest about the hiring challenges they’re now facing, business owners, almost with one voice, said that COVID has simply exacerbated a problem that has existed for some time now.
Indeed, the phrase ‘skills gap’ has been a part of the local lexicon for years now, with many businesses, especially those in manufactur- ing, but in other sectors as well, struggling to find adequate supplies of help, with the degree of difficulty varying with the relative condition of the economy.
Chad Jzyk, HR business partner for Charter Next Generation (CNG), a Turners Falls-based manufacturer of plastic blown film for the medi- cal industry, said the company has been challenged to find help for
 So companies, some of them with the help of
EANE and even area marketing companies, are
honing their messages and updating their hir-
ing strategies in the hope they will have enough warm bodies to take advantage of what is expected to be an uptick — if not a surge — in the economy.
 Staff Photo

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