TAMPA, Fla. - Robert Jeffries is a retiree. But when the pandemic hit, he decided to return to work.
"COVID has caused me to get out and stay busy," Jeffries said.
With the chance of a job opportunity at the Super Bowl, Jeffries and dozens of others came out to Career Source Tampa Bay’s job fair Thursday that was specifically geared to the big game in February.
"Really, it’s geared toward the hospitality industry and tourism industry, mostly for temporary jobs that are there to fill some of the traffic that’s going to be in February," said Career Source CEO John Flanagan.
Seven employers, including McKibbon Hospitality, Waffle House, Sea World, Busch Gardens and La Quinta hotels, are looking to fill 720 positions.
Another company, Safe Management, is looking to hire around 200 temporary employees for Super Bowl 55 to work in guest services or security inside of Raymond James Stadium. Jeffries hopes, his previous experience gives him an edge.
"I worked at Raymond James doing various things for food concessions and working on the boat to fire the cannon as a volunteer," he said. "That job was from US-SOCOM where I worked at previously after I retired."
Flanagan says, almost 50,000 people are in the same boat as Jeffries - trying to get back into the workforce. But there is a silver lining.
"The great thing about Tampa and Hillsborough though, is it’s a pretty resilient community, and we’ve got a pretty healthy mix of industry here that allowed us to bounce back," he said. "Right now, our unemployment is about 5.7 percent. So we went from a little more than twelve, and now we’re down more than half of that."
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