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There have also been continued problems with workforce
supply in Cobb, mirroring national labor shortages.
Throughout the year, “help wanted” posters became as
common as stop signs, particularly in the service sector.
Wellstar Health System told lawmakers in December it’s
still struggling to fill over 4,500 vacant positions.
“When everybody starts talking about the shortage
of labor, they run their numbers up,” restauranteur and
businessman Dale Hughes told the MDJ. “So warehouses
say … we’re gonna pay you $20 an hour to come unload
a truck, and it’s a lot easier than getting screamed at by a
customer about your steak.”
Outgoing Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman John
Loud said he expects workforce to continue to be the biggest
concern for business owners in the coming year.
“It’s clearly the No. 1 issue,” Loud said. But he also
pointed to the huge amounts of federal and state investment
floating around the economy as reasons to be
optimistic for the coming years.
Among the events put on by the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
when the venue was shuttered were productions by the Atlanta Opera
of “Carmen” and “e reepenny Opera.” Performances took place
under a big top tent outside the venue’s front doors. - Ken Howard