They want to hire another 120 right now. And, come November, they project demand will necessitate 200 more hires — if they can find enough able bodies.
Iowa's shallow labor pool is leaving other companies thirsty for workers, as well. Spokespeople for Winnebago Industries, Sukup Manufacturing and HNI Corp. told the Des Moines Register they're struggling to find enough workers to meet their hiring targets.
Experts were particularly surprised to hear that Deere couldn't find enough employees. A household name, with union representation from the United Auto Workers and a starting hourly wage of $19, Deere has been one of the Midwest's premier manufacturing employers.
When Deere held a job fair in Waterloo March 6, it drew about 400 applicants. A month later, the company held another.
Randy Venzke, the labor relations manager at the Waterloo plant, said about 80 applicants showed up for the second event. Then 50 showed up for a third. Just five showed up for a fourth.
"We haven't seen as much interest as we have in the past," said Mark Onderick, the company's labor relations manager at the Dubuque plant
So, what is it that John Deere representatives, managers, etc are NOT saying that is obvious to everyone else that looks at the issue?
Deere has lay offs, periodic buyouts to reduce workforce, and benefits don't kick in until after a seven-month probation period
Well, that's a lot of bullshit that I've never run into in the 15 jobs I've had in the past 20 years
Indeed, Deere, for instance, gave notice to the state in 2016 that it was laying off 115 workers.
The company issued a similar notice last summer, alerting the state it was laying off 35 employees. It also periodically uses buyouts to reduce workforce.
It turns out, many of the company's benefits don't kick in until after a seven-month probation period.