May 14, 2015 5:07 PM
HAMPTON BEACH - Along the Seacoast, businesses are having a difficult time finding enough workers to staff their restaurants, bars, and motels.
In Hampton Beach, where a hot summer day can bring 80,000 people to the water, there’s a scramble to find summer help.
It’s the same story all along the Seacoast.
“I’ve noticed everywhere I go: grocery stores, the Rite Aid, everyone has a help wanted sign out," said Meghan Bishop who is one of the managers at the Ice House in New Castle. "I feel there are too many job openings and not enough people.”
Competition for summer workers is very steep and business owners say they need to offer higher hourly wages, signing bonuses, and even free summer housing to attract candidates to wait, cook, clean and tend bar.
Chuck Rage is bullish on the Seacoast’s future.
He just built a brand new addition onto his Pelham hotel.
Rage is also Chairman of the Hampton Beach Village District, and he’s been hiring seasonal workers for the past two-and-a-half decades.
“Now we get kids from Eastern European countries,” he said. “I just think there’s not enough people around looking for work, and now you’re seeing a lot of new properties, new condos, hotels, and new retail shops."
Tom Cannizaro, General Manager of Ashworth By The Sea, said part of the problem is that all of the businesses are looking for workers at the same time and that makes for stiff competition. His management team travels overseas in January to find workers to fill full-time summer positions.
At Hampton Beach, the search is still on for lifeguards. They’re also looking for several dozen people to work in the state’s parks.
“It’s a demanding job,” Brian Wilson of N.H. Parks and Recreation said.
He also said he’s more concerned about the candidate’s attitude than he is about their experience.
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