Retirement Community Overrun by Robots

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted August 1, 2023

"They’re very efficient and helpful and kind."

"They’re very polite… very polite."

"They sing 'Happy Birthday.'"

This is how the residents of the Holly Creek retirement community described the latest staff additions to the assisted living facility in Centennial, Colorado. 

Except they weren’t talking about people.

They were talking about Larry, Curly, and Moe — three robots that patrol the dining hall distributing food and collecting trash. 

And if these robot workers have been a pleasant development for the residents, they’ve been a godsend for management. 

“The shortage right now in Colorado for employees is quite high. It’s been that way since the beginning of COVID and it’s really just taking its toll,” said Brooke-Lynn Jeffries, the community’s hospitality manager. “The robots are doing amazing. They are full-time employees with us.”

Retirement Home Robot

See, that’s the thing…

High levels of employment and rising wages don’t really feel like a crisis.

Unless you’re trying to hire people.

And right now, a lot of industries, businesses, and managers are struggling with that.

Especially in the hospitality and service industries, as Jeffries said.

Restaurants, bars, hotels, and casinos are among America’s most persistently short-staffed businesses, with nearly 2 million unfilled openings. 

Service Hospitality Jobs

The leisure and hospitality industry is still roughly 500,000 employees from 2020 levels, even as many other sectors have recovered from the pandemic.

Other sectors are facing withering labor shortages too.

America’s construction industry is coping with its largest labor shortage in recorded history, with roughly 650,000 open jobs.

And America’s farms are increasingly barren of workers, as well — a long-term trend that stretches all the way back to 1950.

That is, "the number of self-employed and family farmworkers declined from 7.6 million in 1950 to 2.01 million in 1990, a 74%  reduction," according to the Department of Agriculture. 

Over this same period, average annual employment of hired farmworkers declined by 51%, from 2.33 million to 1.15 million.

Ag Farmer Worker Decline

The factors behind the shortage are the same as those holding back construction workers.

These jobs are physically taxing and often underpaid and overworked. So it’s no surprise that over the past 70 years, a growing number of people have pursued higher-paying, cushier, college-educated office jobs.

Indeed, prior to the pandemic, 69% of U.S. high school graduates moved on to college. That’s up from roughly 62% in the early 1990s and 55% in the mid-'80s, according to Labor Department data.

Unless that trend magically reverses course overnight and America’s high school graduates decide they want to be farmers, construction workers, and servers, then this is a problem.

But again, thankfully, it’s one robots can help solve. 

See, all those fancy degrees aren’t going to waste. They’re helping produce novel solutions to the crisis they helped create. 

Like this apple-picking robot, for instance. 

Robot Apple Picker

This machine isn’t just capable of plucking apples from their tree limbs; it can also identify which ones are ripe and ready for the picking and which ones aren’t.

And that’s another thing… 

With greater computer processing power and cutting-edge advancements in AI, robots these days can perform a much wider range of tasks. 

In many cases, they’re even more efficient than their human counterparts. They’re also more expendable, which makes them ideal for dangerous tasks and operations, sparing human workers from having to risk life and limb.

Of course, this new robot workforce requires a fair amount of processing power and it needs it right at the source especially if it’s running AI software.

And that’s why I recently zeroed in on a company that makes the brains behind them — the supercomputers capable of operating at lightning speed, even in harsh environments. 

Trading for less than $4.00 per share, it’s one of the most crucial technology suppliers behind autonomous trucking and heavy machinery.

And it’s going to deliver massive gains in the months and years ahead as more and more robots enter the workforce. 

Just click here to get all the latest details.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of Wall Street's Proving Ground, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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