The executive director of Jobs and Family Services said after 20 years on the job, he had never seen so many vacancies.

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — We’re taking a closer look at what jobs are most in-demand right now in Northwest Ohio.

These are the same areas that have seen shortages rise over the years, especially throughout the pandemic: the healthcare industry, public safety, and factory or manufacturing jobs.

To National Workforce Development Month, Job and Family Services in Lucas County stayed busy with her nearly two dozen community partners, organizing job fairs and making sure the right workers filled those jobs.

Many businesses are now looking for seasonal help. Most of the time, this is only a temporary job. Most fields that need help are looking for long-term workers.

Job and Family Services Deputy Director Michael Weh said that after 20 years on the job, he has never seen so many vacancies.

He explained that the labor market is a bit tight, the labor force is down a bit, and the unemployment rate remains about the same as it was before the pandemic.

“And we didn’t have enough then. So it became difficult to find good, solid workers,” Veh said. “Frankly, a lot of workers who used to work two or three jobs to make ends meet are now finding one job that will pay them enough that they don’t need those other jobs. Then that creates jobs in other areas.” .

Veh explained that he used to say that his job was done when people were no longer looking for work. The opposite is true now, as more and more industries struggle with vacancies.

He said there is now a different approach to what work really means to some; there is less desire for material gain than there is for personal satisfaction.

“I think the attitude now is more, ‘I want to enjoy what I’m doing and I’m willing to wait for that opportunity.’ Because happiness in everyday life is important. I don’t see a problem with it,” he explained. “The challenge is that you have to pick the right field to get into, and you have to look at things as a career, not just a job.”

Ohio Means Jobs is hosting a public safety job fair on Friday, Sept. 30, an industry that Veh says people just aren’t going into. It’s from 10am to 2pm at the new Job and Family Services building on Sylvania Road.

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