This could be a good time to be looking for a job, especially for those now out of high school or college for the summer.
The National Restaurant Association is predicting the food-service industry alone could be adding about half-a-million people across the country this summer and Ohio could be one of the busier states.
In Niles, where Covelli Enterprises is building a brand new Dairy Queen at the Eastwood Mall complex, the help wanted sign has been out for a number of weeks. The company just recently opened new Panera stores at Ohio Turnpike rest stops in New Springfield and hired 200 people to operate those, as well as two other DQ restaurants.
Supervisors said there’s been no shortage of applicants either.
“I see college kids that want summer jobs. I see kids that are becoming juniors and seniors that this might be their first job, that working at Dairy Queen is a great experience,” said Julie Ault of Covelli Enterprises.
Ashley Hopson just finished her freshman year in college and is looking for her very first summer job. She went to apply for a position at the new Dairy Queen under construction in Niles.
“And of course its hard to get a first job, especially if you’re in college cause most of them, they want full-time. I don’t know if i can do full-time,” Hopson said.
The new Dairy Queen store will open in about a month and Ault said she’s already hired about 60 people to work there and plans to hire another dozen or so soon. She said while the reputation of Covelli Enterprises tends to draw more job applicants, Ault said after so many years of economic trouble in the area, people are hungry for good jobs.
Managers with the local Ohio One Stop agency said besides looking for summer work, young people should consider job exploration to see what promise their future career choices might hold.
“We have an Internet profiler that’s online that can help anyone who has some uncertainty about what direction they want to head. The Internet profiler can help them and also we try to help them determine what kind of demand there is for any employment they’re interested in,” said Mary Ann Kochalko of the Ohio One Stop.
One Stop office managers said they’ve been seeing a 20 percent increase in job orders from potential employers in the area, and trends appear to suggest prospects will continue to improve in the months ahead.
“I think a lot of the positions that had been previously held by adults as stop-gap employment when they couldn’t find what they wanted to do, those jobs are opening up for younger students,” Kochalko said.