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June 13, 2013

Some businesses remain short-staffed this year

Others are not finding it hard to staff seasonal positions

Businesses in the Cooperstown area are gearing up for another summer season. As more tourists visit the area businesses, more employees need to be trained and ready to answer their call.

With so many places hiring, is there enough staff to go around?

According to Alex Webster, owner of two restaurants, Alex and Ika in Cooperstown and Cantina de Salsa in Cherry Valley, it’s hard to find “gifted staff” during the summer.

“It’s a real problem for the whole area in providing a good experience for people during the high season,” Webster said. “There just isn’t enough talent to go around.”

The “high season,” Webster said is “six weeks of craziness in July and August.”

Webster said he has had to double the amount of employees, from 20 to 40 people, in order to meet the demands of the season. As Alex and Ika celebrates 16 years in business, Webster does not have much trouble retaining staff.

Webster said it is because “we pay well and try to be loyal to our staff during the off season when business is a lot slower.”

“We’re fairly lucky, we have a lot of relationships that are long standing,” Webster said. “I remember it being harder when we weren’t so established.”

As far as business goes, it has been fluctuating, but is pretty much the same as last year at this time, Webster said.

Jennifer Moore, the manager of the Bayside Inn and Marina in Cooperstown echoed some of Webster’s concerns.

“It’s harder to find people this year,” Moore said. “I don’t know if it’s because more people are hiring or people aren’t looking for employment.”

Moore said she has 13 to 14 positions to fill every summer and she still has four positions available. She said she has had an ad in the Pennysaver for almost four weeks and also contacted Workforce Solutions in Oneonta to list the positions.

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