Marshall County has an abundance of jobs, and the big question is why can’t they be filled.
Managers at Personnel Staffing in Albertville, along with Marshall County’s other employment agencies
work with the county’s various employers to fill their open positions. Stacy Rains with Personnel Staffing said despite having 232 open positions, the company is having a
difficult time finding people to accept them.
“There are definitely more jobs than there are people,” Rains said. “We are all having trouble finding
people to work right now. We have been going through our availability lists and there just isn’t anyone.”
Matt Arnold, president and CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Council, agreed with
Rains. He attributes the problem to several factors, including a growing workforce, an inability to pass
drug screenings and an unwillingness to work the jobs available.
“It’s good that our workforce is growing, but it’s frustrating when you hear that employers can’t hire anyone,” Arnold said. “It’s particularly difficult in the poultry industry. We had a poultry company wanting to expand a few years back, so we looked into it. We had several HR managers call us to tell us that they were having a hard time filling positions.” Both Rains and Arnold said they are struggling to find a solution. Rains has gone to the area’s high schools to talk to students about the jobs available.
“It has gotten to the point that I have gone to the high schools and talked to the students who aren’t
planning on going to college,” she said. “I told them that it’s a big world out there. I told them that it’s
not easy. When looking for a job, you have to leave a good impression and when you land that job, you
have to show up on time and give 110 percent.
“Last week, our records show that we put 58 people to work. That is from three branches in a 50-mile
radius. We are doing what we can to pull from every direction. We are going on the outskirts and trying
to put people to work. “My goal when I started working here was to put people in Marshall County to work. We just can’t find them in Marshall County alone.”
According to Arnold and the Civilian Labor Force, 41,424 citizens in Marshall County are working or
are looking for work. Of that number, 39,191 citizens are working. Arnold said Marshall County’s unemployment rate is lingering around 5.4 percent, with January and February still waiting to be counted. Arnold added that the unemployment rate is actually pretty good, sitting next to a state percentage of just over six percent.“Our labor force has been going up,” Arnold said. “Sometimes you get a false positive, it may be just that people are so frustrated that they’ve stopped looking for work. With that said, we are back up to where we were prior to 2008. It’s good that our work force is growing.
“With that said, that’s the sense I get. There is a lack of will. I don’t think its just millennials. We like to
joke about millennials, but I think this is a multi-generational problem.”
There are several things you can do to improve your chances of landing a job. The Marshall County
Extension Office offers classes on resume building, as well as job placement services.
Marshall County Regional Extension Agent Juana Christian said the Marshall County Extension Office
can teach you how to land a job. “All you have to do is fill in the blanks on your resume,” she said. “Put your name, your address and your phone number. Give a list of your general goals and ambitions. What do you aspire to be? Do you want to work in retail or the poultry industry? Write that down. Whatever the industry is, write your goals down so the potential employer sees that you are serious.
“Write down what degrees and level of education you have. Write down your skills and the other work
you’ve done. It’s basically just one or two pages.”
Arnold and Rains said failed drug tests continue to be a problem, so landing and keeping a job can be
just as simple as staying clean, showing up to work on time and working hard.
“I couldn’t tell you how many failed tests we have in an average week,” Rains said. “I really don’t
know. I’m not told how many people. That’s hard to put a number on it. It’s a problem though. It is a
“They don’t pass the drug tests when they come in, or when they get hired on, they decide to go out
and party and then fail our random drug tests. We are a drug free work force. We tell them from the
beginning, don’t waste our time.”