Food service leaders continuing to push to bring staff levels to pre-pandemic totals – West Virginia MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials in the food service industry in West Virginia are continuing to remind residents that they are hiring in an attempt to bring staffing levels up to pre-pandemic totals.
The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association (WVHTA) recently sent out a message that hundreds of restaurants in the Mountain State are currently hiring. There are more than 53,000 jobs in the state restaurant industry, according to the association.
WVHTA Executive Director Richie Heath told MetroNews there has been a lot of turnover in the restaurant industry due to pandemic fears. Nationally, the food service industry employs more than 14.5 million people and is working to recreate 635,000 additional jobs lost in the pandemic shutdowns, the organization said.
“Restaurants and food service, there is no option for remote work in there. You’ve seen a lot of opportunity for folks looking to get into the industry with folks who have looked to get out of the industry,” Heath said.
“A lot of our restaurant owners are still trying to get up to our pre-pandemic levels in terms of staffing.”
Heath said the openings are in every aspect of restaurants including the kitchen, waiting staff and front room staff.
He said some restaurant members of his association are working with career/tech schools to create a worker pipeline in an attempt to fill positions.
“We’ve got students that are coming out of programs and doing internships and moving right into restaurants to be able to help in a meaningful way and get their careers off to a start,” Heath said.
People looking for jobs in the restaurant and foodservice industry can search for available local positions on national job boards such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Monster or stop by their local restaurants and ask for an application, WVHTA noted.
The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association is a voice of the restaurant, food service, lodging, convention and visitors bureaus, and travel industries in the state.

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