The Petoskey Chamber of Commerce held a virtual job fair last week, where 60 employers were looking to fill almost 500 positions between them.
However, only four job seekers showed up.
President of the Chamber, Nikki Devitt, says the opportunities are out there.
“You’re seeing them paying what they’ve never paid ever before,” said Devitt. “You have places where a dishwasher with incentives can make $20 an hour. It’s incredible to me what’s going on out there right now. It is going to be a very difficult summer and a lot of businesses, for the first time ever I’m hearing phrases of ‘we’re nervous, we’re scared, how are we going to manage this’?”
Low staffing has already caused problems with daily operations, especially for restaurants.
“Our restaurants are operating at 50 percent capacity right now and they’re cutting their hours, they’re closing for days to give their staff a break, and that’s at 50 percent occupancy,” said Devitt.
At Duffy’s Garage and Grille, they’re still looking for a number of employees before summer begins.
“We need employees we need kitchen help, we need bussers, we need food runners, we need all kinds of employees but we’re struggling to find them,” said Johnathon Kline, Manager of Duffy’s Garage and Grille. “We need customers to understand that everyone is struggling to find employees and we can only do what we can do and we’ll try our best to accommodate. We just need people to be patient.”
Devitt said they understand not everyone can participate in job fairs, so they are looking at alternatives to advertising openings.