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CareerSource Escarosa Celebrating 25 Years With Hiring Events, Workshops

Virus Outbreak Florida Unemployment
Lynne Sladky
A Marshalls retail store displays a Now Hiring sign during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Miami. The economic catastrophe caused by the viral outbreak likely sent the U.S. unemployment rate in April to its highest since the Great Depression and caused a record shattering loss of jobs. Most retail stores remain closed throughout Miami-Dade County. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CareerSource Escarosa is celebrating 25 years next week with — you guessed it — hiring events.

In the year of COVID, the organization is facing a workforce crisis with jobs open but not enough interested applicants. Marcus McBride, CEO of CareerSource Escarosa, said hiring professionals have not seen anything like this before, certainly not in the past 25 years.

“It’s a keyword that’s been used a lot, but it’s unprecedented,” he said. “It’s truly unheard of to have more employers than applicants and this isn’t just unique to the Pensacola area.”

Hiring picked up nationwide last month with 559,000 jobs added by U.S. employers. Thanks to vaccines, more Americans are going out to eat and to venues that were closed during the pandemic. But not enough people are rejoining the workforce to meet the demand.

“We’re seeing (Human Resource) managers working frontline jobs — it’s all hands on deck,” said McBride.

Some employers and politicians place the blame on the extra $300 a week from the federal government on top of unemployment benefits. Those benefits will come to an end in Florida on June 26. Local restaurants have increased minimum wages to $18-$20 an hour and offered signing-bonuses and raffles for a new car. But the problem is “multilayered,” said McBride

When businesses closed or sent workers home, some of them found jobs outside of the hospitality industry or chose to retire, explained McBride. This means employers may need to look at a more-diverse pool of talent to choose from.

“The talent pool from 2017 doesn’t look the same as the talent pool from 2021,” he said. “Employers can give those who haven’t been typically considered a chance — ex-offenders, English-language learners, those with no work history or no resume. Instead, employers may want to look at if this person is motivated; do they have good character?”

McBride said it may be a good time for employers in the service industry to rethink hiring practices. CareerSource also provides resources to applicants to help bridge the gap by offering resume services, mock interviews, and computer skills instruction. As part of their 25th anniversary, CareerSource will have a resume workshop Thursday and Friday.

“People with minimal work experience … we try to meet them exactly where they are and connect them to services,” said McBride.

In the past year, CareerSource provided over 400 participants training or funding for training.
According to their 2020-2021 data, the organization has served nearly 8,000 in its Welfare Transition Program and connected about 1,400 individuals to employment.

McBride joined CareerSource last year — during a difficult time to put it mildly. He’s seen firsthand the importance of the local workforce.

“We’re having to rethink what it means to be essential,” he said.

CareerSource Escarosa Hiring Events

For more information, visit careersourceescarosa.com

Multi-Employer Hiring Event

9 a.m.-12 p.m. June 16

Pensacola State College (Milton Campus, 5988 US-90

Escambia County Hiring Event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 17

Pensacola Career Center, 6913 N. 9th Ave.

▪ Over 100 jobs available: Firefighters, Transportation Services, Equipment

Operators, and Customer Services Representatives.

Back to Work Hiring Event

9 a.m.-12 p.m. June 29

Pensacola Career Center, 6913 North 9th Ave.

Resume Workshop & Drop-Off

▪ Job seekers can stop by the career center Monday – Wednesday to prepare their resume and have them ready to drop off to top employers at the career center Thursday and Friday.

Jennie joined WUWF in 2018 as digital content producer and reporter.