Central Oregon’s Walmarts and more than 100 other employers are looking for hundreds of workers to fill open positions during a job fair on Friday.
Mt. Bachelor ski area is looking for dishwashers and drivers with a commercial drivers license and is willing to pay $1,000 bonuses for anyone filling the position. In all, the ski area seeks to fill 30 positions, according to its website, from cooks to servers to zip line guides.
The summer season kicks off Saturday.
And Medline ReNewal in Redmond is looking to fill 30 entry-level positions at its repurposing facility.
“The job market for the hourly workforce has been tough throughout the past year and has only gotten more difficult as of late,” said Chris Headley, Medline chief recruiter, in an email.
Central Oregon’s labor shortage was around before the pandemic 15 months ago and is back again as employers look to add workers to meet the demands of their businesses. Economists predicted the Central Oregon region would have recovered all the jobs lost due to the COVID-19 restrictions put in place during the pandemic to thwart the spread of the virus.
Deschutes County’s unemployment rate in March was 6.6%, but added 1,880 jobs since February, according to the state unemployment report.
“If you drive down Third Street in Bend you’ll see more signs for hiring than not. It’s an unprecedented area in staffing needs,” said Chris Petty, Express Employment franchise manager. “If we fill half the positions we have, we’d set records.”
Medline will be holding an outdoor hiring fair on June 23 at the Redmond facility, 1500 NE Hemlock Ave. Employees hired before Aug. 31 will be eligible for a $1,000 signing bonus, said Jesse Greenberg, Medline Industries public affairs director. Salaries begin at $14 an hour, he said.
The goal of the in-person and drive-thru job fair at Walmart is to hire 400 workers. The job fair is in partnership with Express Employment and Bigfoot Beverages. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Bend Walmart parking lot, 20120 Pinebrook Blvd.
Express Employment will be taking applications for office services, light industrial, skilled trades and professional positions.
“The well of people looking to hire right now is at an all-time high,” Petty said. “I’m usually looking for more companies to sign up, now I’m looking for workers. For every one person looking for work right now, there are 20 jobs available.”