COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Job seekers are getting back to work and the unemployment rate has gone down steadily throughout the county since June of 2021.
Red Leg Brewing Company is one of many businesses seeing more interested applicants lately, and the company is seeing the benefits from their adjusted hiring process.
"We went from 12 employees to almost 50 employees," said Todd Baldwin, President and Founder of Red Leg Brewing Company.
Red Leg Brewing Company recently moved to a larger building and needed qualified candidates.
"We moved from a 4,000 square foot facility to a 12,000 square foot facility," Baldwin said.
Management adjusted how they decide on which employees are the best fit for their open positions.
"We really kind of paired it down to what's important to us from culture fits to certain kind of behaviors that really fit well on our team, and we went after it that was and we really found a bunch of great talented folks to join our team," Baldwin said.
That doesn't mean it has been easy.
"We had to adapt every day, a lot of business owners kind of had fatigue from that sort of adaptations that were coming down the pipeline it seemed every day," said Baldwin.
Many business owners were open to adapting though. El Paso and Teller Counties are the only two counties in the state that have recovered more than 100% of lost jobs.
"Right now, there's about 13,000 open positions in El Paso and Teller Counties," said Traci Marquis, Executive Director/CEO of Pikes Peak Workforce Center.
Traci Marquis with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center says that employers like Red Leg Brewing are focused on skills-based hiring.
"Look at the skills a person has and look how those can transfer into their organization," Marquis said.
The hope is that unemployment trends will continue to move in the right direction, but business owners know it is challenging to hire and retain employees.
"Hopefully, the citizens of Colorado Springs can kind of learn with employers as we make these changes with them," Baldwin said.
The most recent unemployment rate observation was in November of 2021 and had El Paso County's rate at 4.6%.