ORLA recently posted a press release on workforce shortages in the hospitality industry, "Oregon hospitality positions are coming back online but where are the workers?" Oregon Employment Department data shows approximately 136,000 Oregonians are actively looking for work. Even so, hospitality operators are having great difficulty finding applicants who follow through and take open positions within restaurant and lodging establishments in regions across the state.
We reached out to the Oregon Employment Department for additional insights on what resources are available to assist our industry in addressing this challenge. The following is their response:
The Employment Department is committed to helping unemployed workers, with benefits and with finding new jobs and careers, and equally committed to helping businesses find qualified employees, all around the state. We know that business are struggling, and that there are still many struggles facing employers, and workers, financially and in terms of keeping themselves and others safe while the pandemic, although on a much better path now, still continues.
Some of the steps that job seekers can take to find a job include:
We recommend that employers post job listings on www.iMatchSkills.org, which will prompt our staff to follow up with the employer or to directly post the job listing (after employer validation) depending on the employer’s entry responses.
For employers with at least minimum recruitment sizes, we are providing additional support, such as Virtual Hiring Events (when at least 1-2 employers have multiple openings) and Drive Thru Events with COVID-19 safety precautions in place (when 6-10 employers have multiple openings). Employers interested in these business services should contact Adalberto Rubio.
If employers are having work offers turned down without a COVID-19 related reason, let us know. People can continue receive benefits if they turn down an offer of work because of a COVID-19 related reason (listed below), but if the work is suitable for them and they do not have ‘good cause’ for refusing it, they are not eligible for benefits. We want employers to tell us when that happens so we can follow up and ensure benefits are going to those who meet eligibility requirements, including accepting offers of suitable work. Someone may have a COVID-19 related reason if they are:
It may also be useful to remind your members that Work Share can be used to recall workers part time, and the recent federal legislation extended the federal payment of those Work Share benefits through September 4, 2021. More information can be found here.