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Suncoast employers getting creative to attract workers

Deja Downey with The Vision Group Marketing and Consulting said she’s worked with many local...
Deja Downey with The Vision Group Marketing and Consulting said she’s worked with many local businesses to recruit employees.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:22 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s a sign of the times, the worker shortage is very real. Now Hiring signs and Help Wanted signs can be seen up and down the Suncoast.

“It’s a very complicated situation, it doesn’t really have one simple solution,” said Curt Preisser with CareerSource Suncoast. We’ve seen employers try a lot of different things like pay increases to signing bonuses, and depending on the industry, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.”

Mike Granthon is co-owner of Above the Bar Hospitality Group which oversees seven different restaurants and nightspots on Siesta Key and Sarasota. He says he hasn’t had much luck finding people locally to fill his positions, so now he’s looking for workers all across the country, placing ads outside of the state of Florida.

“We’re actually doing a little bit of Craigslist in locations like Craigslist New York, Craigslist Chicago,” said Granthon.

Granthon says the way he’s selling it to potential employees in other states is they can live and work in paradise and earn competitive pay. He’s already had numerous interviews with people from out of state.

“We definitely get a lot of folks that move and travel,” said Granthon. “Already planning on coming this way, like most of the people in the United States and they are just looking for a new home.”

Experts say a big part of the problem has been that not as many people want to work during the pandemic. Another issue now is that it is the holidays and the season for snowbirds on the Suncoast, so with a lot more people enjoying the businesses, there is a tremendous need for more workers. Places like CareerSource Suncoast say they are continuing to work hard to match workers with these businesses.

“We continue to try to make the connections between the labor force and the employers continue to work very closely with the employer community,” said Preisser.

Granthon says he is currently looking to fill 30 positions.

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