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Be Our Guest: Genesee County Hotels Seek to Fill Open Positions at Virtual Job Fair

Flint & Genesee Chamber to offer free resume, interview workshops leading up to event

(FLINT, Mich. – March 10, 2021) As the hospitality industry approaches its busy season in Genesee County, 10 area hotels will meet with job seekers during the Flint & Genesee Virtual Hospitality Job Fair—the first in a series of industry-specific job fairs to be hosted by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce in 2021.

The job fair, which will be held Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., follows a tumultuous year for the hospitality industry. As of December 2020, 63 percent of Michigan hotels reported they had fewer than half of their typical staff working full-time due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey from the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. Now, with social distancing protocols loosening and several conventions and sporting events scheduled soon, local hotels are finding themselves with multiple positions to fill.

“While many challenges remain for tourism and hospitality, reports show that the hotel industry will begin to rebound starting this year,” said Alaina Wiens, director of the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “However, for our hotels to take part in that recovery, it’s critical that they be fully staffed so they can continue to deliver exceptional service and meet the needs of our visitors.”

According to Wiens, the virtual job fair aims to support local hotels by giving them a platform to meet with job seekers. There, they can discuss job opportunities including banquet, front desk, housekeeping and executive housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, night audit, restaurant servers and shuttle drivers.

Employers participating in the event include:

Not only are these types of jobs important to supporting an industry critical to our economic health, but they can also serve as the first step in a meaningful career path. Just ask Courtney Neely, who originally served as a front desk agent for the Holiday Inn Flint – Grand Blanc Area while studying social work at Michigan State University in the mid-2000s. She loved the job so much that she ended up staying in the industry, where she has since held several positions, including general manager and operational manager, at multiple properties over the course of the last 12 years.

“You always start somewhere in hospitality and then you grow like a tree into the different branches, depending on what parts interests you,” said Neely, who is now dual director of sales at the Residence Inn by Marriott-Flint/Grand Blanc Area and Courtyard by Marriott Flint Grand Blanc. “Even was I was working front desk at the beginning, I showed that I had an interest in sales and asked to be cross-trained on certain things. That kind of initiative really helps in your career growth.”

And according to Neely, that’s not an uncommon story for hospitality employees: “You’re never going to meet a general manager that came fresh out of college—everyone starts at the front desk or someplace similar.”

To help prepare job seekers for the event, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce will offer preparation resources in the weeks leading up to the virtual job fair. This includes resume-writing and interview refresher courses on March 27, March 29, March 30 and March 31. Attendees may sign up for one or both sessions during the registration process, although participation in the workshops is not required to attend the job fair.

Given the virtual format of the event, space is limited and registration is required to attend. To register by the April 5 deadline, visit flintandgenesee.org/jobfair.

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