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Desperate for workers, Las Vegas restaurant owner pulls all stops to give her employees a break

Employers still struggling to hire workers
Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 07, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Help is still wanted.

Employers across the Las Vegas valley continue to search for new workers including restaurants, which as an industry, are in major hiring mode.

No matter where you go in the valley, you are likely to see signs saying jobs are available — sometimes in different languages. It’s no different at Grape Vine Café on Lake Mead Boulevard near Buffalo Drive.

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“I needed a server three months ago when I put the ad out," said Owner Linda Kutcher. "I had six people apply. That was it.”

Kutcher says it has been a struggle trying to get fully staffed. She says her core employees have been great but still the business still has positions that need to be filled, especially in the back of the house.

“Maybe we will get 12 applicants for a position and no one will come in. No one will even return a call,” she said.

It’s resulted in Kutcher working some shifts as a hostess and closing on most Sundays to give her workers a breather.

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“We did that specifically to give everyone a break, so I know at least one person gets at least one day off a week,” she said.

JobConnect, a state agency focused on helping people find jobs, says it’s heard that issue from employers and also from job seekers who have not heard back from employers.

“Oftentimes their resumes could get lost in a sea of resumes just in the sheer volume of job seekers applying for those same jobs,” said Marchele Sneed, a business services manager for JobConnect.

The agency says there are times where the skills of a job seeker don’t match with what employers are looking for.

“A lot of employers have specific software they’re using to sift through thousands of resumes, so they’re looking for specific keywords or specific skills,” Sneed said.

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Kutcher believes the hiring struggle may stem from a combination of generous unemployment benefits and people simply leaving the restaurant industry for different jobs. However, she’s seen an uptick in applicants in recent weeks and hopes more will come and respond.

“They can stop in. Fill out an application here or call. If they’re looking for a job, primarily what I need are kitchen workers,” she said.

JobConnect is a resource that’s free for anyone and a link can be found here.