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Staffing Agencies In Ohio See Business Declines Amid COVID Outbreak

The BarryStaff agency in Dayton.
The BarryStaff agency in Dayton.

More than 135,000 workers in Ohio every week actually work for temporary staffing agencies. And though it isn’t clear yet how many of those workers have been affected by the economic downturn, staffing agencies here in Ohio say many of their employees aren’t working.

At Barry Staff in Dayton, roughly half of their workers can’t report to their jobs because of the coronavirus.

“It's put a big burden on folks,” says Agency President, Doug Barry. “They’ve had to be laid off during this point in time or, you know, whatever job they were doing, whatever company they're at has had to slow down.”

He says before the COVID outbreak his firm couldn’t keep up with the demand for workers.

“It doesn't matter, really, what industry or what level, we had a huge worker shortage and COVID has taken care of that for us right now.”

At Crown Staffing Solutions in Columbus, many workers are out of jobs there, too. But Communications Director Christy Clark says Crown is encouraging workers to use this time to its potential.

“It's a great time to update resumés. It's a great time to learn new skills,” she says.  “I think if we take this time to do that, we're going to really come out of this. Most people will as the quarantine is lifted.”

She says staffing agencies tend to do well at the end of recessions, when a growing workforce is needed. Clark says Crown Staffing expects to be very busy again, once work restrictions are lifted.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.