2020 has been quite a whirlwind so far, and the summer is shaping up to be no different. Ocean City, a hub for seasonal employment, is without approximately one-third of its typical summer workforce. About 4,000 J-1 workers flock to Ocean City each summer and due to the pandemic, businesses all across the island are missing some much-needed help.
No J-1 Workers
Worcester County Tourism Director Melanie Pursel knows that businesses across the county, including in Ocean City, rely on J-1 workers to serve the hundreds of thousands of tourists that flock to the ocean each summer. “The J-1 program has not been canceled, but foreign embassies are closed and visas can’t be obtained. Travel bans have restricted workers from even entering the country. About a month ago, we saw the writing on the wall.”, said Pursel. Now that indoor dining has resumed, shops are open, and outdoor amusements are back up and running, businesses are feeling the void.
In response to the reduced workforce, Pursel and other economic development leaders are holding an in-person job fair on June 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sturgis Park Pavilion in Snow Hill. Hundreds of jobs are available and the fair will feature 44 different employers ranging from the county government, to hotels, to Walmart. No registration is required to attend.
To attract more interest, transportation and childcare resources will be provided for job-seekers. Better yet, some restaurants are offering health insurance and other incentives to grab the attention of both young people looking for a summer job and those who have been laid off due to the pandemic. Pursel hopes that this all-inclusive event attracts hard-working people because “the need is there.”
Nancy Schwendeman of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce said that “The Chamber has shared the virtual job fair and housing with a large number of schools, colleges & universities and other area organizations to help with getting employees.” The chamber also offers a virtual job fair, and you can click here for more information.
For hotels such as the Marriott Residence Inn that usually have J-1 students, it is paramount that new employees are hired immediately. “It’s definitely been a challenge and an all hands on deck situation. Management staff has been jumping in and helping with housekeeping. We have been crossing over different departments.”, said Courtney Blackford, Sales and Marketing Manager. Help is needed in the hotel restaurant as well as in housekeeping and Blackford hopes that the Marriott property will find new workers soon.
Housing is also a necessity for seasonal workers, and the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce has been compiling a list of options. Click here for the list.
We are Hiring!
Click here for a list of businesses that are now hiring.
Below is a list of employers that will be present at Wednesday’s job fair. If interested and unable to attend the job fair, feel free to give these employers a call!
|· Worcester County Government|
|· Harrison Group Hotels|
|· Harrison Group Restaurants|
|· Blue Water Hospitality|
|· Real Hospitality Group|
|· the pinnacle hospitality group|
|· The Angler/Ocean City Beach Rentals|
|· Assateague Diner + Bar and Marlin Market|
|· TKo Hospitality Mgt|
|· Harpoon Hannas|
|· Spectacular Rides Inc @ Jolly Roger Park|
|· Mothers cantina|
|· Beach Plaza Hotel|
|· Microtel Inn & Suites/Bedtime Inn & Suites|
|· Carousel Group Hotels|
|· Long Acres Motel & Cottages|
|· Brass Balls Saloon|
|· Hooties T-Shirts & Accessories|
|· Jessica’s Fudge House|
|· Ocean Tower Construction LLC|
|· Quality Staffing Services|
|· BesTemps Staffing|
|· Pickles Pub/Sellos|
|· Outback Steakhouse|
|· Dolle’s Candyland, Inc|
|· Worcester County Sheriff’s Office|
|· Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel|
|· La Quinta Inn & Suites|
|· Ocean Downs|
|· Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel|
|· Residence Inn Ocean City|
|· Princess Royale Hotel|
|· Dunes Manor Hotel & Suites|
|· Tru by Hilton Ocean City Bayside|
|· Crabcake Factory Poolside|
|· Fins Ale House & Raw Bar|
|· Dove Pointe|
|· Paul M. Jones Lumber Company, Inc.|
|· Trimper’s Rides|
|· Royal Farms|
|· Embers Restaurant/Embers Island Mini Golf|