Businesses across the Kansas City area scrambling to hire more employees

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From restaurants to retail, industrial to entertainment, there are lots of jobs to fill nationwide including right here in the Kansas City metro.

The question is who is going to fill those jobs as businesses scramble to attract workers with a lot of options in front of them.

At a Tuesday Job Fair held at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, the focus was hospitality work and hotel jobs.

Shelley Ferguson, senior director of human resources for the hotel, said they have about 40 positions to fill.

“Housekeeping, laundry, front desk, our restaurants like BARCENTRAL, MetropolitanKC, cooks, engineers, entry level management,” she said.

Ferguson said because of the pandemic people have been postponing their events or postponing their convention.

“Now everybody wants to book those and sometimes very short-term,” Ferguson said. “Who doesn’t want to get married now. Who doesn’t want to go on a trip or take a vacation or stay at a fun hotel? People have pent-up demand. And we are looking for help.”

This is also the first week that pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits, $300 a week, won’t go to formerly-qualifying Missourians.

Gov. Mike Parson, who ended access to the federal dollars, said it was, “time to get back to work.” But it’s unclear if his stated intended goal is happening.

Marriott is offering additional perks to attract job candidates.

“We feel that it’s harder to find people these days because there are a lot of options,” Ferguson said.

“So we’re offering referral bonuses, hiring bonuses, anything that we can do to attract people here and they know who we are,” Ferguson said.

This is the only hospitality job fair happening in June. Next Thursday, June 24, at Bartle Hall the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association is coordinating another, even larger, more general event including more employers.

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