Holyoke Chamber of Commerce luncheon tackles labor shortage

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The labor shortage crisis was the main topic of discussion at Friday’s Holyoke Chamber of Commerce luncheon. There are plenty of jobs available, now its just getting people to take them.

The Holyoke Chamber of Commerce hosted the luncheon at the Summit Meeting House off of Northampton Road. Among the speakers was State Senator John Velis, who talked about the need to fill positions that have been vacant, which will be important in order to get Massachusetts economy back on track.

The Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Hayden, told 22News, “There are people who talk about workforce development and economic development to be two different things. They are the same thing. And so helping people get a job or to do their job better is what will make a difference in terms of economic development.”

Residents there also brought up concerns about the pay for these jobs available, and putting food on the table for their families. Holyoke has about 1,500 residents who are documented as unemployed, which amounts to a 10 percent unemployment rate. Hayden said there there are over 23,000 jobs in the city.

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