City looks to fill thousands of vacancies amid ongoing worker shortage

The city is facing a major worker shortage ― and departments are ready to do some hiring.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is facing a major worker shortage ― and departments are ready to do some hiring.

In order to provide the level of daily services Oahu residents need, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said the city needs to employ about 10,000 people. But it only has about 8,000.

“To operate at a deficit of more than a couple of thousand, common sense will tell you that manifests in ways that are frustrating to us and the public we’re trying to serve,” said Blangiardi. “It’s compromised us in reaching our full potential, more than anything in providing core city operations.”

Making matters worse are COVID-related absences ― people who are forced to quarantine for five days because they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.

To address the worker shortage, the city on Wednesday held its first in-person job fair since the pandemic began. The event at the Blaisdell Center attracted more than 2,700 participants ― both in-person and online ― as well as more than 80 private employers.

While the statewide unemployment rate has bounced back to about 5.7%, industries such as health care and restaurants still face critical shortages of workers.

“We have a little over 200 openings whether that be in Zippy’s, FCH Enterprises, our corporate company, or even in our food production,” said Lindsey Dadulla, recruiter for FCH Enterprises Inc., owner of Zippy’s.

Many employers said they’re glad to be able to recruit in-person again.

“It’s good to be face to face and gauge the interest level of the candidates and really speak to the different opportunities,” said Jaccie Taiatano, talent acquisition manager for Hawaiian Airlines. “Starting at the beginning of the day, we had lines of people coming in. It’s been a good turnout so far.”

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