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Now hiring! Companies hold open job interviews to attract workers; Jacksonville job fair set for next month

Atlantic Candy Company in St. Augustine is looking to hire six full-time employees.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Atlantic Candy Company in St. Augustine is hiring and taking applications and Janice Whetstone says it’s a sweet gig.

“Our company pays 80% of their health benefits. They have dental and vision benefits. We have matching 401(k) programs. Paid time off, paid vacation,” she explained.

But, there’s a problem. Even with those incentives, she hasn’t found anyone to fill at least six full-time positions.

Plans to expand have been put on hold because there isn’t enough staff to work the second shift.

“I don’t know how we can get people in because they don’t even come in to ask how much are they going to get paid or what benefits we are going to pay. They are not even walking in the door,” Whetstone said.

She’s advertised and held open job interviews, but there have been no takers.

She says the work at Atlantic Candy Company is not too demanding. There’s no weekend or evening work, but a good attitude is required.

“American manufacturers need the American workforce to come back to work. We have work. We have an economy to build,” she told First Coast News.

CareerSource Northeast Florida is partnering with more than 30 companies next month for a job fair in Jacksonville with some opportunities available before Christmas. For details on the career fair, click here.

Whetstone says she would consider some part-time workers, but even that has been hard to find.

After more than 40 years in business, she’s looking for ways to tweak her recipe for success and knows she’s only as strong as the workforce which she says is in need of recharging.

“You hear it from every business owner and it’s just a real problem. We can’t run our businesses,” she said.

For more information about Atlantic Candy Company, click here.