Lots of help wanted in Eagle County
EAGLE COUNTY – When Oliver Tito of East Vail was looking for a job at the beginning of the ski season, every place that he wanted to work was hiring, he said.”There were a lot of jobs out there,” he said. “Some years previous it hasn’t been like that.”Tito, who has lived in the valley for five years and works at the Cordillera golf courses in the summer, took a job at the Burton store in Vail.With unemployment down and the number of help-wanted ads up, hiring in Eagle County seems to remain an employee’s market.Scott McDonald, owner of Covered Bridge Coffee in Vail, said he can usually count on walk-ins looking for a job at the beginning of the ski season. But this year, he had to take out an ad in the newspaper to get responses, and ended up getting only a few responses in a week, he said.Jamie Schadwick, who took a job working for McDonald, said it’s always been easy for her to find work in Vail.”I’ve never had a hard time,” she said.Local unemployment rates have dropped compared to last year. Unemployment in Eagle County has dropped to 4.3 percent in October, down from 4.9 percent last October.
Nora Fryklund, director of human resources for Eagle County, said the labor market is tight for all services in the county. The county, which employs about 400 people, has about 15 open positions. The average number of openings for the county is about eight or nine, Fryklund said.A lack of shovelersNovember’s help wanted ads for the Vail Daily were up 18 percent over November of last year, said Christine Holaday Schriock, classified director for Colorado Mountain News Media, the Vail Daily’s parent company.November job classifieds were up 64 percent over 2003.An average of 239 help-wanted ads ran a day in the Daily last month.Vail Resorts’ spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said Vail Resorts should be fully staffed by Christmas across its four resorts. Ladyga said there has been no notable difference in the availability of employees this season compared to the last few seasons, she said.Vail Resorts employs 11,000 people at the peak of the winter season at its four Colorado resorts, Ladyga said.
The company employed 4,199 full-time workers in Eagle County at the peak of the season last year.The only area where Vail Resorts is having trouble finding employees is for physical work such as shoveling at base areas, villages and parking lots. Construction jobs compete with those jobs, Ladyga said.”Those are positions that have become more competitive,” Ladyga said.Vail Resorts also hired about 1,400 international workers to work at its four Colorado resorts.Michelle Griffin, recruiter for the Vail Valley Medical Center, said the applications for entry-level clerical positions have dropped off since the beginning of November, Griffin said, and are coming in a little more slowly than last year. The town of Vail, which employs about 300 people, has seven openings – a little higher than average, said Krista Miller, human resources representative.”The jobs market continues to be competitive for employers,” she said. “It’s similar to where it has been the last few years. It’s not easy to fill positions.”======================
Unemployment ratesEagle County, October: 4.3 percentColorado, October: 4.6 percentU.S., November: 5.0 percentSources: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics======================== Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado