‘Second Summer’ Growing, but Workforce Still a Challenge

HYANNIS – Local experts are saying finding enough employees will likely be the biggest challenge for local businesses this summer.

 The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chair David Troutman said more permanent residents after COVID and a growing shoulder season is great for the local economy, but more has to be done to make a sustainable, year-round workforce. 

“The business is there. It’s a question of being able to maintain the workforce and as much as you expect people to leave a bit in the fall or specifically in the winter—the fact is you’re losing staff at that same rate and those are huge limiting issues,” said Troutman.

Chamber CEO Paul Niedzwiecki said a lot of the growth can be traced back to the pandemic, as many who could do their work remotely chose to make their home on the Cape.

“There has been a huge COVID-19 population shift. It’s a different place and especially on the Upper and Mid Cape, we are becoming more of a year-round community,” said Niedzwiecki. 

The Cape has also seen a major blow to its summer workforce in the form of J-1 visa changes that now require businesses to provide adequate housing in order to employ J-1 students, however the Chamber has created a new Housing Coordinator role to help alleviate the issue.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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