VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — As thousands of jobs remain unfilled at the oceanfront, there’s a brand new incentive in Virginia Beach to get people back to work: a thousand dollar bonus.
Business owners and managers tell 13News Now that staffing shortages are still a big problem during the busy tourism season.
“It’s definitely been one for the books,” said Hilton Garden Inn Oceanfront General Manager Kristin Milleson.
“It’s just been a challenging summer being able to meet those expectations with the staffing levels that we have. Where we would normally have three people, we only have one person,” explained Milleson.
Milleson said it’s tough to keep up with the demand. She is down between 30 to 40 employees at the Hilton Garden Inn.
“We’ve had to supplement with third-party workers this year, where we would normally wouldn’t have to use that many," Milleson said.
Volunteers walked from business to business at the oceanfront to get the message out about this new program.
“We are paying a $1,000 incentive to any worker in the city of Virginia Beach or surrounding areas that wants to come join a hotel or a restaurant in the city of Virginia Beach,” explained Michael Woodhead.
Woodhead, a consultant with Hampton Roads Workforce Council, believes the new incentive program will get people to work. The money used for the program is coming from a $400,000 grant from the city of Virginia Beach.
“If you are willing to work full-time hours and it would be once you are trained you would be eligible," Woodhead said.
Many managers hope this new program works and they can find and keep employees.
“Anything the city can do to help is amazing and going to be really helpful for the properties at the oceanfront," Milleson said.
Back in June, Governor Ralph Northam unveiled a similar grant program that would match stipends of up to $500 for new hires at small businesses. Woodhead said people can apply for both programs.
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