The labor shortage continues to be a top concern for pool and spa professionals. With a large base of professionals looking to retire — or simply find a couple employees to keep business running smoothly — as well as a generational shift away from careers in the trades, it’s harder than ever to compete for candidates. Simply put, it’s the candidate’s market.

The shrinking candidate pool has pushed some cities to come up with incentive programs designed to lure new talent. As the Wall Street Journal reports:

"Relocate to Hamilton [Ohio] and the city promises $5,000 to help pay student loans. Pack up for Grant County, Ind., and claim $5,000 toward buying a home. Settle in North Platte, Neb., and the chamber of commerce will hold a ceremony in your honor to present an even bigger check."

A small town in Iowa even offers free land to those who move there and build a home.

Incentives may not be a cure for the labor shortage, but they do help even out the playing field for small communities and businesses. Read the full WSJ report here.