MESA COUNTY, Colo.
Colorado is projected to regain 40,500 jobs in 2021, but 128,500 jobs were lost in 2020, and you know why. Nicole Lamb is a server at your local restaurant and Nicole says, “Everything takes so much longer. The disinfectant time between things is crazy sauce, it really is. People have to wait six feet apart. You know, they have to wait a lot longer time. We just can’t serve our customers the way we normally would.”
The 5 Star Variance Protection Program has been helping over 600 Mesa County businesses survive, but it’s also killing your servers’ livelihood. “I’m the top waitress, top sales at my work. I’ve been there seven years, and I only get three days a week,” Lamb said.
Her hours might go up because leisure and hospitality industries are expected to add over 19,000 jobs in the state, according to the Colorado Business Economic Outlook, but looking for a job in Mesa County is a job. Lamb’s brother, Michael Groessl says, “I’m currently unemployed, but every time I come to the workforce center, I usually have a few interviews after a few days.” Mom of a brand new baby, Shandale Spiller is at the workforce center for the same reason, but different situation. Shandale says, “I needed to come get help for the daycare assistance they provide.”
The job of the Mesa County Workforce Center is to get you a job, and they also offer child care for 13 weeks while you search for the job, if you qualify. But, you better hurry, or set an appointment because they close at 2. “I just went on maternity leave, and coming back from having a baby. So, I’m just getting back out there,” Spiller said.
Construction probably wouldn’t fit her new situation, but it’s one of go to’s for employment here, and the key word HERE.
The Colorado Business Economic Outlook says construction jobs are flat in Colorado, but the Mesa County Workforce Center says they’re as steady as a foundation in the county. When it comes to foundations, COVID can chip away our way of life, but it will never severe family ties. “I’m a single parent man. He makes up the difference. He’s a good man for my three boys. So, we do it for the kids, really,” said Lamb. “It’s family,” Groessl said.