Four-county Highlands region has 10,000 job openings

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Over 10,000 job openings currently exist in the four-county Highlands region, according to Amy New, Putnam County Chamber CEO.  

During the Putnam County Joint Economic and Community Development meeting held Tuesday, Highland Economic Development Director Rod Kirk shared a challenge the partnership faces is balancing recruiting while committing to workforce woes of existing industries. 

Kirk said there is lots of opportunity for industries to expand in the counties, but companies cannot fill the positions. As he recently conducted several site visits with companies, they often turned into listening sessions about workforce issues. 

The Highlands Economic Partnership includes Putnam, Jackson, Overton and White Counties.

“I watch the jobsfortn website a lot,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said. “There’s what? About four job openings for every unemployed person right now. The jobs are out there.”

We have 445 job openings at the hospital, and we continually run over 400 opening there. It’s clinical and non-clinical,” said Cookeville Mayor and Cookeville Regional Medical Center Chief of Strategy Ricky Shelton. 

To fill a number of these positions, the American jobs Center will be holding a job fair in Livingston on June 23 at the TCAT Livingston from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Michelle Price is the former managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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