OLD CITY - Help is badly wanted and competing restaurants are so desperate for hires, they are holding job fairs, together, to address the problem.
"Most people are trying to make it through this right now," stated Jordan McKinney.
McKinney went into the Fitler Club Monday with an open mind. He’s, fortunately, back at his job after a five-month layoff, but he needs additional work.
"I’m really open to anything. It’s hospitality, so there’s a lot of things you can get into," McKinney added.
"It’s a struggle, but we know that now is the time to open up and come back and we’re calling everybody to come on back," explained Human Resources Director of the Fitler Club, Marci Pogust.
The latest attempt to combat a national staffing shortage as the hospitality industry attempts to reopen. The managers behind nearly 30 of some of Philly’s most popular restaurants and lodging sat side-by-side with their competitors Monday, for a job fair with the same goal.
"This week we saw more bar crowds than the week prior, which is nice, but there comes staffing that needs to make sure it happens," said Schulson Collective Director of Hospitality Tom Austin.
"There were a lot of workers who were hired and then let go and hired and then let go, so there is some hesitancy on the employee part to come back," Ben Fileccia, with Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, explained. "Childcare is an issue, as there are still schools doing virtual learning."
But, with a number of new incentives – some offering healthcare and paid vacation – and a small, but consistent flow of candidates through the door, the businesses are hoping to staff-up before the city fully lifts restrictions June 11th. Summer break from school as one window of opportunity.
"I’ve applied to everything on this row, so far. Working my way through," Josephine Rosman remarked.
Home from college, Rosman hopes to land her first gig in the industry and never imagined it would be so easy to apply.
"A lot of them are like, as soon as possible, so that’s exciting, because that’s also when I’m looking to work," Rosman added.
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