Talk of The Rock: Jena Lowmaster on hiring difficulties in Kodiak


Kodiak businesses have had a problem for the last year; job openings are plentiful, but workers to fill those jobs are rare. Jena Lowmaster, executive director of the chamber, has decided to go and ask the workers of Kodiak what’s changed for them.

“We have put together a work force survey to take a glance at what’s going on within the Kodiak community. We’ve talked with many businesses, and they’ve come to us to, you know, try to figure out what’s happening. We know that there’s been a problem over the last several months, and a shortage, and it’s hit almost every industry within Kodiak. And we’ve acknowledged that and we want to try to help come up with a solution to find out what is actually happening,” Lowmaster said.

There are many different theories as to where the workers went, but Lowmaster isn’t looking to confirm suspicions. She wants a local explanation for the problem, so the chamber can work to address the problem locally.

“I don’t think it’s that simple of an answer. Hopefully this information comes back, and it says what some of the problems are. This survey is not going to solve the problem; we’re looking for some solutions to the problem. But hopefully, we can look at this and say, these are some of the areas that we as small businesses can help improve, whether you know, it’s wages, its benefits, meeting to help find childcare solutions, whatever it may be, but trying to help find some of those problems, or the solutions to the problems,” Lowmaster said.

Cards with QR codes linking to the online survey were sent to over 5000 homes last week. The chamber is expecting to have results from the survey back in early February.

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