SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — A sausage factory in Shelby County is getting creative as the country experiences a worker shortage fueled by the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Purnell's Sausage Company is offering free transportation to entice more workers in the Louisville area

  • The sausage factory now has 179 workers and 32 unfilled positions

  • Gov. Andy Beshear is expected to rollout a back-to-work incentive program this week

  • The company be holding an event called "Sign-Up Application Day" on Friday, June 25 at Louisville’s Chin Church from 12 - 4 p.m.

Ida Guier, Purnell's human resource director, said applications simply aren't coming in like they used to.

In an effort to combat the national staffing shortage impacting nearly every industry, Guier said they are experiencing another hurdle.

"We have a lot of people applying for jobs even go through the process of accepting the job, going and getting their physicals and then not showing up for their first day of work," Guier said.

The family-owned company is now in competition with nearby businesses when it comes to looking for help, now having to offer additional wage increases or incentives. Purnell’s Sausage Company has 179 workers and 32 unfilled positions.

"We’re making sausage, we’re not making airplanes. So, we can’t [go] above what those people are paying," Guier said.

As a consequence, sales continue to pour into the company forcing inventory levels to be drained.

"Unfortunately, we have to cut products. Maybe not cut them, but we have to shorten them. We have to do less amount with certain products," Guier said.

To lure potential job seekers, business leaders were forced to think outside the box with their recruiting efforts. With their new strategy, the company is doubling down on their efforts by eliminating barriers and offering free transportation to newly hired employees living in Louisville.

"We found about 26 people that were interested in a job down there and what we told them what we do is: we would give the first 14 a free ride in a van to and from work," Guier said.

The human resources director says a big part of the problem is the federal unemployment benefits that have been dispersed during the pandemic.

In the meantime, Gov. Andy Beshear is expected to rollout a back to work incentive program this week designed for unemployed to get back to work.

"I don’t think it's fair to the people that are working to do that. They ought to be able to get them a job without somebody paying them to get a job," Guier alleged.

Ultimately, management said it comes down to customer service.

"We’ve got to get our product out. We’ve got to please our customers. We don’t want to lose a customers we have," Guier said.

Purnell’s Sausage Company will be holding an event called "Sign-Up Application Day“ on Friday, June 25 at Louisville’s Chin Church on 6603 South 3rd Street from 12-4 p.m.

The starting wage is $15 per hour with a free ride to work included for a limited time.