The employee shortage is not a new topic in the Lake Travis area.
We wrote about it a year ago, crunching the numbers to illustrate exactly how serious the problem is.
We recently said goodbye to our friends at Kid-E-Shack, who closed their doors citing hiring woes as one of the main causes. And they aren’t alone.
The “Help Wanted” and “Now Hiring” signs aren’t just peppering the Lake Travis area, they’re blanketing it.
In a shopping center with 15 retails shops, you can easily see 12 signs posted. What’s scary is the shortage of skilled workers is a problem in Westlake, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Steiner Ranch, and Four Points. It’s beyond problematic.
We know community leaders are doing their best to find answers, like van-pooling, but efforts are slow-going.
In the time it takes to implement solutions, how many more businesses will be forced to close their doors?
Which makes us wonder, what do business owners really need?
122% increase in Lakeway alone
If you take a peek at job postings online, searching in the Lakeway area specifically, you’ll see some interesting indicators as to the seriousness of the hiring headaches.
For example, on Indeed it says, “The Lakeway, TX job market is strong compared to the rest of the US. Over the last year, job postings in Lakeway, TX have increased by 122% relative to a national decline of 32%.”
700 jobs in the Lake Travis area
If you search another popular website like StartWire, more than 700 jobs are posted within a five mile radius of Lakeway. From shift supervisors at Starbucks to line cooks at H-E-B to physicians at Scott & White, the career opportunities run the gamut.
Solutions in the works
Capital Metro is open to conversations about creating programs to assist Bee Cave and Lakeway, but neither currently has a contract in place with the agency. This means you have no public transportation and you probably won’t in the near future.
Relief in the form of vanpools would mainly assist big retailers who need a lot of employees — like Target, Home Depot, and H-E-B — because these programs come with a price tag that most small businesses cannot afford.
Like a dog chasing its tail
A great example of the nature of employment in Lake Travis can be illustrated with Oaks at Lakeway.
When H-E-B began construction, the excitement was palpable. But when everyone saw the enormous store take shape — a store that would require lots of employees to keep it running — the reality set in.
What began happening behind the scenes was pretty simple. Let’s say an employee who was working at Lowe’s left to work at H-E-B and then left again to work at High 5. Now let’s say this happens hundreds of times. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break in the “boomburbs.”
They need you
One of the best attributes about Lake Travis is its “live local” mantra.
Part of the solution to the hiring woes in Lake Travis is in your hands.
You can shop at the newest stores and dine at the newest restaurants. Plus, you have the gems in Lake Travis that have been around for many many years.
Think of living local as reinvesting in all of them. Your patronage matters.
Can we “live local” better?
If you see a “Now Hiring” sign and you know someone looking for a job, connect the dots for them.
If new employees are learning the ropes at a new job, be patient and supportive.
Don’t get flustered by the construction at Hill Country Galleria. Instead, understand how amazing it will be after completion.
In these instances, what you do and how you do it is absolutely crafting the future of Lake Travis.
The Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce is actively working together with the community to find viable solutions. If you’d like to be part of that conversation contact Laura Mitchell at [email protected] or call the office at 512-263-5833.