Downtown La Grange hiring as multiple businesses look for a range of workers

LA GRANGE, Ill. (WLS) -- One west suburban downtown wants you to know most of the businesses there are hiring right now.

However, finding workers is the problem. Some businesses have even had to cut hours because of it.

You see them in nearly every business in downtown La Grange -- signs saying, "Help Wanted."

"We're looking for all kinds of help. We're looking for part-time, we're looking for full-time; people starting their careers, or people more seasoned looking for a supervisor role," said John Rot, President of Hortons Home Lighting & Hortons Ace Hardware.

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Rot is the largest retail employer in La Grange. This week he's holding a job fair for all of his businesses and dozens of open positions, offering benefits as an incentive.

"To have that opportunity to get a benefits program is something they don't expect in a small business," he said.

Rot said demand for dining and home improvements is strong, it's the workers that are hard to find, hence the job fair where Aviana Rivera just interviewed.

"With all these jobs hiring, there's a bunch of different things you can learn to do. And this just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to put myself out there, give myself the push," Rivera said.

She's right, the options for work right now are plentiful as many of the small businesses here need paid workers to survive, like Peggy Maglaris-Kopley's restaurant Prasino.

"Everyone's looking for help, right? If you walk down the street every window has a sign on it," Maglaris-Kopley said.

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She had to reduce her hours briefly, not due to lack of demand, but because of a lack of staffing.

She still has six to seven positions open right now.

"It never has it been like this," she said.

Down the street, Adam AbuHamdan, the owner of Wheelys Coffee Lounge, said he opened four months before the pandemic and he hasn't gotten an application in six months for a shift leader role.

"Now we're having more customers, more foot traffic, the main problem is to have more help, more people," AbuHamdan said.

There is a bevy of options for you if you're ready to work in what's become an employee's market in La Grange.
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