People unemployed, few applying for jobs: The dichotomy local businesses are facing to hire workers

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Posted at 3:13 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 17:57:51-04

NORFOLK, Va. -- Landing a job may be easier than landing a plane in this job market. At the Norfolk International Airport, Christina Poole was hoping to get on board.

"I'm hopeful. I don't know how good of a shot that I have,” Poole said. “I have been to other job fairs; it's really important to meet the people that might be hiring you."

She was one of several at the airport's job fair where tenants from airlines to shops set up tables to hire potential recruits.

"There's a variety of jobs here available - anywhere from drivers to customer service to airline operations to waitstaff,” Steve Sterling, the airport’s Executive Director, said.

Those who are unemployed are now being urged - even pushed - to find work. Right now, changes to unemployment benefits are being considered by President Joe Biden’s administration, including unemployment benefits being eliminated to people who turn down jobs offered to them.

Back at the airport, Poole had her eyes on two of the companies.

"Delta and United are the two,” Poole said. “Those are the two that have the flight benefits."

"I would think that the mere fact that they actually took the time and effort to come out and visit the job fair,” Sterling said. “We truly appreciate their interest in working at the airport."

Though airport tenants may be struggling in hiring, businesses outside in Hampton Roads are also feeling the struggle. Virginia Beach-based candy company Forbes Candies is also facing hardships in hiring.

"I could use some to staff a whole other shift,” Marty Cochran, the President of Forbes Candies, said. “That's how much demand we have right now."

That is at their factory, but Cochran added they are looking to hire people are their company stores in Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

He is hoping people apply.

"We're not getting anybody applying,” Cochran said. “I've advertised on every possible way that you can do it."

With more opportunities than ever, experts are suggesting if you are really looking for a job, you are very likely to land one.

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