We're a small business manufacturing custom thermoset composite moldings. We run our factory 24 hours a day, four days a week and sometimes on Friday.
Lately, we have had to lock our front office doors. People receiving unemployment benefits are required to show that they have put some effort into finding work. Some show up at our offices to fulfill this requirement -- usually on a Friday. So we lock our doors to avoid them. We've resorted to only hiring people who have worked 90 days for a temporary staffing agency.
We have about 60 employees and are looking to hire four more. The jobs are entry-level press operator jobs. They are not difficult. The presses run on automatic, but someone needs to inspect and clean the parts when they are produced by the machine.
And we offer a competitive wage: $8.50 to $9.50 an hour. The $8.50 is just the starting wage. After 90 days we increase it to $9.50 to $10 an hour.
But many people add up their constantly renewed unemployment, food stamps and housing assistance and realize that they can make as much not working, as working.
We could raise wages to $100 an hour, fill the positions and then go out of business, taking all our jobs with us.
Not being able to remain fully staffed means we may not meet our performance delivery standards all of the time. That makes us less competitive. We are creating a permanently dependent class of people in the country who won't ever want to work again. Harsh talk, but that's our experience.
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