▶️ Bend business frustrated with continuing lack of job applicants

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By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Even with a signing bonus in place, Host Campers in Bend has struggled for months adding employees to their team.

“We’re having a hard time getting employees to come in for interviews right now,” Guy Callahan, production manager said.

Business is better than it was pre-pandemic for the family owned business, but the increased demand makes the need for more employees even greater.

“We have more work through the rest of this year,” Callahan said. “We’re sold out, we want to ramp up and build more campers for the community, but right now we can’t because of our workforce.”

The high-end camper company is offering a $500 signing bonus, and offering current employees $500 to refer people.

The incentives aren’t doing much to attract applicants, and Callahan has another theory about what’s keeping people away from work.

“We saw a drop off in the applicants probably in November,” Callahan said. “It seems like when they get a new stimulus package, people just aren’t that enthused about coming out to work.”

Host Campers wants to increase their production by 25%.

To do so, the business needs additional workers in welding, cabinet shop, and assembly.

“There’s a lot of places in town that need people,” Callahan said. “We’re just one of them.”

That includes the Bend Park and Recreation District, struggling to fill around 40 seasonal positions.

“With some closures and people maybe have moved away, [they] are not available as they were last season,” Natalie Broadus-Beard, HR specialist said. “What we’re previously used to, a lot of people coming back, may have moved on.”

With more employees, Host Campers is confident it could do business even better.

“We have a great group of people here,” Callahan said. “We’re just looking for more team members that want to come to work and put out the best quality product in the business.”

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