HIALEAH, Fla. – With the coming expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits and amid a staffing crunch across industries, one of the largest in-person job fairs of its kind was taking place Wednesday at Miami Dade College’s Hialeah campus.
The fair, open until 8 p.m., illustrated how the demand for workers is so robust that employers are now pitching the job seekers.
“We know a lot of people have suffered through the pandemic and lost their jobs, and we wanted to make sure we offered a job fair that was open to the entire community not just our students,” said Anthony Cruz, MDC Hialeah’s campus president. “This event kind of kicks back the whole thing of, hey, we are trying to get back to normal.”
More than 60 employers were offering hundreds of jobs across a wide array of industries.
Medical assistants, care managers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, warehouse positions, commercial drivers.
Registered nurse Loudjina Duverna is currently employed but came to see what other hospitals in the area are offering as they recruit for those positions.
“I really like the face-to-face,” she said.
It comes at an important time as the nation pulls itself out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have had a lot of vacancies but we are in recovery now and have people looking for work and we are here making sure everyone has a job,” said Shalanda Thomas, a talent acquisition specialist from Pollo Tropical.
And in this rehiring push, “they are even taking applications on the spot,” Cruz said.
Jobseeker, Juliesky Rivera is in school full-time at the MDC Kendall campus but was there Wednesday to start securing a full-time job for when she wraps up school in the coming months.
“They just interviewed me like for two jobs already,” she said.
Some candidates are being hired on the spot. Thomas added three people who were to start later Wednesday afternoon, heading to restaurants where managers were waiting for them.
And that robust demand for workers has employers pitching candidates with their perks.
“People are looking for scheduling flexibility as well as wages,” said Alexis Osorio, general manager of Kush Hialeah. “Work-life balance is important to people who are coming back to work. They are happy to be back at work and we are happy to have them.”
Cynthia Bowles is the first female owner/operator of a Chick-fil-A in a Miami market and says of employees, “I think that they are looking for value from us.
“Can we make it where they feel that they are going to be getting a great value proposition for their time and for their talent?
She said job seekers returning to the labor market are looking for competitive wages, scheduling flexibility to care for children and in other cases older parents, benefits like sick pay, health coverage and tuition reimbursement and internal growth opportunities.
“People want to work but they also want to see what do we as an employer have to offer,” Bowles said.
Economists continue to say that one of the biggest hurdles to getting people back to work remains the lack of affordable child care.
Grant Thornton Chief Economist Diane Swonk has argued the nation is in need of better child care options, “especially for low-wage households” adding that “the pandemic laid bare the huge holes we have in childcare in this country. The labor force participation rate among women was rising before the pandemic hit, but still below the peak hit in 1999.”
UPCOMING JOB EVENTS
Mega South Florida Job Fair: Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the BB&T Center (One Panther Parkway, Sunrise). Jobs available in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. For more information on companies hiring and to preregister, click here.
Miami-Dade Career Fair: Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Miami-Dade Water and Sewer 1st Floor Breezeway (3071 SW 38 Avenue). Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami-Dade County invite all residents looking for career opportunities within county government. Jobseekers are encouraged to bring an updated resume. Explore current job opportunities at miamidade.gov/jobs.
Community Resource Fair: Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ronselli Park (250 SW 114th Ave., Sweetwater). Residents can meet Miami-Dade County departments’ representatives and learn about the job opportunities that the county provides, in addition to the county’s services and programs.
Related Urban Group, The Development Firm and Gomez Construction Job Fair: Tuesday, June 29, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Antioch Baptist Church of Brownsville. (2799 NW 46th Street, Miami). Residents in zip code 33142 and Miami-Dade County Section 3 residents will have the opportunity to apply for construction jobs and property management opportunities. Interviews will be conducted onsite with those who attend. All are encouraged to bring a resume and certifications with them. Applicants can pre-register at https://www.thedevelopmentfirm.com by selecting the Career Fair (LG) tab. Applicants can also call to register and get more information by calling 786-663-8581.