Hospitality and tourism industry looks to fill jobs ahead of tourist season

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the population and development continue to surge in Florida, that means more job openings in the hospitality and tourism industry. There’s an effort to help restaurant owners who say they are struggling to fill those jobs to keep their business operating. Julien Gremaud, a chef and restaurant owner in Palm Beach County, has his work cut out to finish construction on a building in time for the opening of his new restaurant, Pink Steak, by Christmas.


Julien Gremaud is looking for employees to hire as he gets ready to open his new restaurant.

“For a restaurant, we need at least 80 employees,” he said, “because we are planning to be open seven days (a week).”Gremaud said it’s a bit easier to hire now versus during the COVID-19 pandemic, “but yeah, it is tough.”Discover the Palm Beaches and CareerSource teamed up for a hospitality and tourism job fair. The career fair hosted nearly 40 restaurants, hotels and other avenues for work.”Hospitality and tourism is definitely that face-to-face industry,” Heather Andrews with Discover the Palm Beaches said. “These are not hybrid or remote jobs, so coming here and trying to find people that are looking for employment is critical for us.”


Michael Corbitt with CareerSource Palm Beach County said hospitality jobs are available across the county.

“A lot of people are looking for work in hospitality, and we’ve got a lot of open jobs across the county,” Michael Corbitt with CareerSource Palm Beach County said. “Hotels, restaurants, resorts, everyone is hiring for [the tourist] season right now.”He pointed to population growth.”You see all the new growth and development. There are a lot of new jobs with that as well,” Corbit said. “Hospitality employs about 90 to 95,000 people, and in [tourist] season that ramps up.”Corbit described the overall job picture right now.”We are at 3.3% [unemployment] right now, so we have about 736,000 employees in this county, roughly half the population is working, and that’s a good thing,” Corbit said. “Unemployment is very very low in this county.”


Andrew Dugard explains why his restaurant is looking to fill a variety of jobs soon.

Job seekers here are eager.”We just went next door to print some resumes so we can go around to as many tables as we can,” Rolsheal McCray, a job seeker, said.”The jobs are out there, of course,” Niiecy Williams, who is searching for a job, said. “It’s just very difficult actually getting an interview.”Employers are hopeful that they can fill all of their job openings.”We are expanding our restaurant currently. We actually have about 40 job openings,” Andrew Dugard, partner of Ella Curry Kitchen, said. “It’s difficult right now.”

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