Depending on whose numbers you use, Elkhart County’s labor shortage is in the thousands to tens of thousands, says Economic Development Corp. President Mark Dobson.

The Elkhart Truth reported that whatever the actual numbers, not having a plan to address the shortfall has already cost the county one or two potential employers with 1,700 jobs between them, Dobson told Elkhart County Commissioners Monday. So he outlined the plan they developed to market Elkhart’s open jobs to job seekers around the country.

“The numbers are difficult to narrow down to exact figures,” Dobson said, citing census figures, WorkOne estimates and others. “At best, we’re short somewhere between 8,500 and 35,000 in our workforce.”

He said there are longterm plans already in play for attracting workers by making Elkhart County an appealing place to live, but in the meantime, meeting that shortage is the immediate need. The EDC looked at three proposals for marketing the county through social media and traditional media, like radio and billboards, and went with a plan by TaigMarks Inc. to automatically aggregate all job postings by Elkhart employers into one place, at elkhartcountyworks.com.

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