Nonprofit agencies report difficulty recruiting, retaining workers during pandemic | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – The pandemic has affected many industries’ workforces in Illinois, including nonprofit agencies. 

Some are having a difficult time retaining or recruiting employees.

Charles Cribaro, director of human resources at Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry County, said the nonprofit is experiencing staffing shortages and they are not alone.

“Agencies are experiencing through my conversations with some of my counterparts throughout the county, horrible, horrible numbers on their recruitment and applicants applying,” Cribaro said. “I talked with one individual at a facility near us who said they have a recruitment team of three and they are literally twiddling their thumbs because there is no activity.”

Cribaro said many factors could be contributing the shortage, including some people staying home to care for children or looking for work in other fields.

“They are getting out of health services and going to other industries, and in some cases, people are leaving the state,” Cribaro said.

As a result, Cribaro said Pioneer Center is offering sign-on and short-term shift bonuses.

Many for-profit businesses including restaurants have reported having difficulty finding workers at least in part because of enhanced unemployment benefits offered during the pandemic.

Nonprofit agencies that run summer camps also are reporting a shortage of summer camp workers.

“This summer once again we are struggling to find people to work at camp, but there is a nationwide shortage of people working for summer camps,” said Megan Pedigro, director of marketing with Easter Seals Central Illinois.

Kimberly Wright, development director for the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, said they faced staffing issues as well.

“It was a little difficult for us to manage having enough staff, but then again we also had less students,” Wright said.

Wright said because of the pandemic, her agency provided a virtual program for the kids, which proved to be highly successful.

Other nonprofit agencies were not as affected by staffing issues, Make-a-Wish Illinois being one of them.

“We have been pretty steady so far, but I think we are about to open up a few positions that were frozen,” said Jessica Miller, communications manager. “Like many organizations, we didn’t want to make a lot of changes during uncertain times. We do need volunteers.”

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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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