FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One business is looking ahead to opening this spring, but said they could use more help, and it’s due to a well-known seasonal worker shortage.
Rachel Blakeman, director of the Purdue Fort Wayne University Community Research Institute, said it’s due to student internships and declining college attendance, which means more people are working full time and not looking for seasonal work. She said the available pool of seasonal workers is shrinking overall.
“There’s a huge section of the population that is aging out of the workforce, perhaps entirely that might have been, let’s say, 5 to 10 years ago, who recently retired, willing to take on seasonal work. They are now getting to the point where they’re not interested in working anymore,” Blakeman said.
Kevin Cook, kitchen manager at Don Hall’s Gas House, said The Deck is in need of more help to make their opening goal of mid-May and that it’s always a struggle to find seasonal help.
“The hiring process is always a tumultuous situation,” Cook said. “Especially with The Deck, we do count a lot on the college kids coming back, but at the same time, they leave before it’s over, so there is a lot of planning and just rolling with the punches.”
Cook said the entire restaurant industry is going through a rough patch right now.
“Everybody needs workers. Everybody pays a little bit different, the job is a little bit different. So there’s a lot of people that tend to come in and find something else and leave,” Cook said.
As far as the upcoming opening season goes for The Deck, Cook said he hopes the area is a little easier to get to.
“We are hoping and praying fingers crossed, that we have less barricades and construction barrels in front of us making it a little more convenient to get to us and hopefully our parking situation,” Cook said.
The Deck is expected to open on May 16 and is accepting all applications of anyone 15 and over in compliance with the Indiana labor laws. Find the link to apply here.