WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KTJL) — Those with the Chamber are hoping city councilors approve spending 4A sales tax funds to help reduce the shortage of skilled workers, and also give a boost to the economy.
The Employee Recruitment Relocation Incentive Program aims to bring new employees from outside this area by paying relocation costs as long as that person stays with the company for at least six months.
Michael Stanford said, “Travis Haggard and I with the Chamber both kinda brainstormed opportunities to bring folks to the city.”
And out of that came the Pilot Employee Recruitment Relocation Incentive Program, a way to bring in out-of-town people to fill job openings here.
Wichita Falls Chamber President and CEO, Henry Florsheim, said, “Not only does it help them fill the positions that they got available but it also grows the population every time they bring somebody in.”
Sharp Iron Group President, Michael Stanford, said “One of the things that’s been a challenge is that the population has been pretty stagnant. If we can find a way to build our population while we are also building our capacity I think that’s a win-win.”
The discussion began last year when Sharp Iron Group President Michael Stanford said the company hired five people, four of whom still live and contribute to the local economy.
Florsheim said, “Our role is to be the economic developers for the city and so this is a program we’ve identified that can help us do that, it can help our employers increase the talent pool.”
The 4A board has approved the $200,000 to start this program and it is now up to the city council to give final approval.
Florsheim said, “Depending on the salary of the person they’d be bringing in and starting around $31,000, around $15 an hour is the west wage we would incentivize, the company could get either $4,000, $6,000 or $8,000.
Manufacturers, call centers and customer claim support centers, transportation companies, and warehouse companies are qualified for the program.
Henry Florsheim is assuring residents that this is not a program meant to hire out of town employees over local, but a way to fill the need of additional skilled workers in the job pool.