WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Since the pandemic, employee retention has suffered, causing staff shortages nationwide which can be felt here at home.

“I mean, it has been across the board – food service industry, retail, corporate. I mean, everybody has struggled to hire,” P.I.O. Chris Horgen said.

The transportation department of Wichita Falls has been directly impacted, forced to cut hours and modify routes.

“One of the things we hear every day on the national media, there’s not enough truck drivers. Well, we are seeing the same thing happen here on the local level, but instead of hauling freight, we are hauling people,” Director of Aviation, Traffic, & Transportation John Burrus said.

“Transportation is a big deal, and it is a last, absolute last resort to have to change schedules like that,” Horgen said.

There’s a total of 60 job openings on the city’s website open to the public to review and apply for. Horgen said the city has evolved and offered more for its employees since the pandemic.

“The city’s upped its game when it comes to benefits, when it comes to paying. There’s been raises across the board. Several years ago, when a consultant came in and said the city was behind on salaries, and city council said ‘we’ve got to do something so that we can hire good people, and keep the great ones we have,’ and that’s what they’ve done.”

Trying to get the word out, and solving an issue that Burrus said directly impacts local residents.

“The bottom line is they rely on our transportation service. The other thing is, and we’ve seen this statistic, is that more and more young people aren’t even getting their driver’s license. More of them are preferring to use public transportation as their method of getting from Point A to Point B,” Burrus said.

The next job fair is “Ring in The Spring,” which takes place Thursday, March 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be held at Region 9 on Loop 11.

For more information on job openings, click here.