Need Help: In A Pandemic, Worry About Finding Summer Workers | Lifestyles
In California’s Sonoma Valley, business leaders from famed wine country are exploring the idea of pooling employees, among other workforce initiatives.
Mark Bodenhamer, chief of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, said that a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch could potentially share employees with one that does the majority of its business in the evening.
“These solutions are complicated and expensive,” he said. “But at this point, everything is on the bridge.”
In North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the tourist season is already in full swing, but staff shortages abound, according to Karen Brown, chief of the seaside region chamber of commerce.
Some restaurants have been forced to close once a week or stop curbside service, while in some hotels managers help maids return rooms, she said.
“Everyone participates where they can just to keep the wheels on the bus,” Brown said.
Mac Hay, who owns Cape Cod restaurants and seafood markets, is among business owners who doubt further efforts to hire American workers will pay off.
In any given year, he estimates that about a third of his summer workforce of 350 must ultimately come from seasonal visa workers from Mexico, Jamaica and elsewhere when jobs fail. are not provided locally.