LYNDHURST, Ohio — Margaret Clark loves her job.
“You get to build someone’s self-esteem by simply showing them something so simple,” she said.
She’s the founder of Salon LaChae in Lyndhurst on Mayfield Road.
“We are a full service face salon,” she said.
The salon offers everything from waxing, threading, eyelash extensions, make-up and makeovers.
“It’s rewarding at the end of the day, when customers leave with a smile on their face and you give them a whole new attitude,” said Clark.
While she’s busy building self esteems of the clientele that have fully returned, her operation isn’t working at full capacity.
"We’ve rebounded very well. Our services are picking up a whole lot over the last few months, especially with prom season, graduation that’s really increased our business tremendously," said Clark. “I could really use 3 to 4 more people.”
She said some employees never came back when she re-opened after the state forced them to shut their doors last year. She believes a lot of it was due to fear of the virus, but also because she couldn’t compete with unemployment benefits, despite offering incentives from PPP loans.
“It’s always been the hardest part of running a small business, finding good help, throw COVID on top of that and $600 and $300, now it’s really a challenge,” she said.
She’s not alone. Driving down Mayfield road you can see dozens of help wanted signs.
“The demand from employers still remains strong,” said Frank Brickner from Ohio Means Jobs/Cleveland Cuyahoga County.
Ohio Means Jobs helps place workers with employers. Brickner said they have companies in the hospitality, manufacturing and healthcare industries desperate for workers, but they just don’t have the workforce to meet the demand.
“We just need people to say, ‘Hey, I’m ready to get back into the world of work,’” he said.
He thinks the tides are turning with the end of the extra $300 federal unemployment benefit ending at the end of June.
“You always think of ‘will there be a new sense of urgency with people once their extended benefits goes away?’” he said.
Ohio Means Jobs is bringing in more career coaches to the office.
“We’re here. We have staff here. We can assist you both on site and virtually,” said Brickner.
Clark is hopeful the end of the extra benefit will mean more applicants, too.
“I try Indeed, I use beauty.com and I use the state of Ohio cosmetology license database,” she said.
Clark said her incentive right now is what she does best: building on and making over someone’s skills.
“You get to build your skill level and you get to learn something that will help you grow in this industry,” she said. “It’s hard to find people to come in the door with all the skills that I need but if you have 1 or 2 of the skills, we will build the other skills that you need.”
Ohio Means Jobs has a virtual job fair on June 17. You can register for it here.
If you’re interested in a job in the beauty industry and working at Salon LaChae email firstname.lastname@example.org.