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HELP WANTED: South county businesses have trouble finding new hires

GREAT BARRINGTON — Carr Hardware, along with other southern Berkshire businesses, have difficulty finding and retaining young employees. In many storefronts in Great Barrington there sits “Help Wanted” or “Accepting Applications” signs. In the Berkshires, especially, there is trouble finding stable employees who are both experienced and motivated. “I think every business-person I talk to, they tell me they have problems with retention,” said Bart Raser, co-owner of Carr Hardware.

“The labor pool is a challenge,” Raser said, “It’s a challenge to find and retain good people. We’ve had a lot of good people who have had a lot of years behind them. We have a solid base, but finding new people is a big issue.”

For employees at Carr Hardware, the positions are mostly customer-facing, which means being extroverted and having strong social skills. “They have to be comfortable working with people,” Raser said. Many of the open positions at Carr Hardware, especially the entry-level positions, are filled by young people. “I think our younger staff want and appreciate schedule flexibility more so than their predecessors,” he explained.

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