City of St. Charles leaders go out of state to recruit workers -

City of St. Charles leaders go out of state to recruit workers

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Sign inside Ameristar Casino (Credit: KMOV) Sign inside Ameristar Casino (Credit: KMOV)
ST. CHARLES, Mo. ( -

On Tuesday, City of St. Charles workforce development officials and local business leaders are hosting a career fair in Effingham, Illinois. Their stop, 115 miles from home, is an attempt to address a serious worker shortage.

“The great thing we tell people is we have 3.4 percent unemployment. The problem is we have 3.4 percent unemployment. It’s basically, we are at full employment,” said David Leezer, City of St. Charles Director of Economic Development.

Now, companies in town like Ameristar Casino, Patriot Machine, Coca Cola, and even the City of St. Charles Police Department say they need more workers to fill job openings.

“We want the best of the best and we do have the best of the best, but it’s challenging because don’t have the applicant flow,” said Tiffany Hudson-Herrmann, talent business partner at Ameristar. “They think casino and they just think the casino floor. They don’t think about the finance, marketing, information technology, food and beverage, hospitality, all the things we have under one roof here at Ameristar.”

There are several factors behind the worker shortage, including company growth, high rates of retirement among Baby Boomers, and millennials are taking a new approach to job searches.

“They say ‘find me a place I want to live and I’ll build a job around it.’ So that’s why we have kind of pivoted in this. We’re saying come work here. But really what we are emphasizing is come and play here. Come and live here. Come and enjoy this place because if you do, we have great jobs here for you also,” said Leezer.

That’s why the city’s workforce development team and leaders from at least seven businesses are recruiting workers from cities out of state, like Effingham.

“It’s close by. We don’t have to go into Effingham and explain what St. Louis is. They are familiar with St. Louis. They come here to see Cardinals games. They come here to Ameristar. They come here to visit our parks.  It’s easy to get here and it’s very close to home so that way they can come here, work here, and if they want to go home on the weekend to see family, they can,” Leezer said.

The career fair is Tuesday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

Leezer said if it goes well, they plan to do more recruiting events like this other cities in the future.

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