Rogue Valley businesses struggling to hire workers amid pandemic restrictions

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore — With counties easing restrictions or scaling back every two weeks, business owners find themselves in challenging and frustrating situations to hire workers.

Josephine County will downgrade into the “high risk” category for the first time in months on Friday. It allows restaurants to open dining areas to 25% capacity or 50 people.

Though the new restriction may be a short term relief, owners say looking for help with indoor dining is difficult.

“They’re tired of working in an industry that’s not as stable as it used to be.” Dave Thomason who owns Thomason Hospitality said. 

 Thomason says he is increasing hourly wages and salary, in an effort to retain staff and keep up with the rising cost of living. 

Businesses like Visiting Angels, which specializes in senior care, has locations throughout the nation. The co-owner of its Medford facility says the pandemic combined with last fall’s fires, led to a dramatic loss in caregivers.

 “Its been a real burden for us to find high quality caregivers.” Co-owner Ed Emberlin said. 

The center works with seniors that live up to 60 miles away in the Rogue Valley. Emberlin says they are also offering highly competitive pay because of the demand. He encourages people to apply for the program and previous experience is not required. 

“It’s absolutely essential for us to not have just caregivers but the right kind of caregivers,” Emberlin said. “We’re looking for people that have the right heart for giving and the right mentality of going out and serving.” 

Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
Skip to content