City of Rochelle strategizes to overcome worker shortage

Economic development director says the city has more than 300 jobs across the board to fill.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 91 percent of state and local chambers of commerce report worker shortages holding back its economy. In Rochelle, Economic Development Director Jason Anderson said the statistic rings true.

“The fact that industries and businesses can’t find enough employees is killing them,” said Anderson. “So, by and large, this is slowing our economy down.”

Around 9,000 people live in Rochelle. The city has more than 300 open positions across all industries, according to Anderson.

“We held a meeting about a month and a half ago with about 27 industries here in Rochelle to ask the question: what is the problem with getting employees? And we got a whole lot of answers,” said Anderson.

Anderson said the city is working to create child care to cover all shifts, buses to drive people to work, and affordable housing. The city will host the Community of Opportunity Hiring Expo on September 16 at Rochelle Township High School.

“We have positions in healthcare, manufacturing, food service, customer service, and our fire department. Just such a wide variety of jobs,” said Rochelle Marketing and Public Relations Director Jenny Thompson. “There has to be something for everyone at this hiring expo.”

It is possible to arrive unemployed and leave with a job, Thompson said.

“I would encourage visitors to bring their résumé. Be ready to speak with the employers. Be ready to interview right on the spot. Come with your strengths, and let these employers know why they should choose you,” said Thompson.

Anyone who registers for the hiring expo in advance can enter a drawing to win $300 cash. You can find more information about it at

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