A large talent pool has surfaced for industries that have long struggled to fill positions.
Forced closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused hotels and restaurants to lay off thousands of workers in the past weeks. A few companies in the retirement and residential industries may offer laid off workers temporary employment until hospitality jobs become available once again.
Katalina Cruz, managing director of operations at Doral-based KW Property Management & Consulting (KWPMC), told the Business Journal her residential property management company is looking to quickly fill 90 positions that have been long-vacant. These positions are mostly jobs in maintenance, housekeeping, concierge service and waste management, she said.
Many industries had struggled to find workers in the past two years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was at 3.5% at the end of 2019. Goldman Sachs announced on Tuesday that it now predicts the jobless rate will soar to about 15% as a result of the coronavirus. On Monday, economists at the Federal Reserve’s St. Louis district projected a 32.1% unemployment rate.
For companies like KWPMC, that’s an opportunity to bulk-up its staff at many of the luxury residential complexes it oversees. These condos – including Privé in Aventura and the Brickell Flatiron in Miami – are in need of hospitality-like workers to serve food and provide increased sanitization of common areas, due to shelter-in-place orders. .
Cruz added that KWPMC has seen a massive influx of job applications in the past two weeks, and should have little trouble filling its 90 open positions. The company is in direct talks with some local hotels to recommend KWPMC as a potential opportunity for let-go employees.
Vi at Aventura, a retirement community, is also looking to hire ex-hospitality workers, but for a slightly different reason.
Renee Garvin, executive director at Vi at Aventura, said she’d like to hire between 20 and 30 new workers to provide the community with a stable bench of employees in case some need to stay home if they exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms or test positive for the virus. Vi at Aventura is looking for jobs in areas like food service, housekeeping and concierge services.
Elderly people are more at risk to die from the coronavirus, officially COVID-19, and therefore Vi must take extra precautions to isolate workers who may be infected, she said. Anyone who attempts to enter the retirement community is screened, and those that don’t pass aren’t allowed to come in.
If staff members are barred from entering, Garvin needs backup employees to be able to fill those roles at a moments notice, which is the purpose of the new hires.
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