US labor shortage affects GV students and employers


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Gillian Hanton, Staff Writer

Currently, there are over 10 million available jobs in the US, approximately 1 million more than the number of available workers. Both small businesses and large corporations have reported difficulty finding employees to fill open positions, some of which have remained unoccupied for months.  

This issue has permeated Grand Valley State University’s workforce as well, with many campus organizations trying to hire new employees, meanwhile operating with minimal staff. 

“We have had a lot of campus departments struggle to fill their student positions, and we continue to have some of these issues,” said Yug Gill, Assistant Director of Student Employment. “A lot of departments have tried to address this issue by trying different recruiting strategies and raising their wage rates to attract student applicants.”

Despite some of these staffing difficulties that COVID-19 has brought into the community, many students are looking forward to starting new jobs and coming back to old ones. GVSU junior Brody Conaty is one of these students, beginning work in the fall at the athletic department. 

“I chose to work with GVSU because it will give me good experience for future job interviews because my goal is to work in college sports. Also, the convenience of being right on campus is great,” Conaty said. 

As students like Conaty return to in-person activities and jobs this semester, they can be assured that the health of student employees continues to be a priority at GVSU. As of August 2021, the university updated its face-covering policy, requiring students to wear a mask inside all indoor facilities. In addition, GVSU officials have also introduced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to be completed by September 30th, in order to keep the campus community as safe as possible.  

With these safety measures in place, students can feel comfortable looking for a new job, and have many resources available to go about finding one, Gill said. One of the easiest and most effective tools for finding employment is Handshake, an online system for college students seeking help getting a job or internship.

“The first step is to set up their account on Handshake,” Gill said, “Once they have their accounts created, they can search for campus jobs posted in Handshake and narrow down their search based on their skill set and things they are interested in.”

Through Handshake, students can apply for a variety of positions and receive messages from potential employers, ensuring they find the right fit for them. 

Students are also free to explore their options through the Student Jobs Office at and the Career Center at .