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Help Wanted: Companies still hiring during COVID-19 pandemic

Delivery and gig jobs with plenty of openings
Chipotle looking to hire a new CEO
Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 21:46:26-04

Chances are that either you or someone in your family has been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 mandatory shutdown.

Hopefully, many of those layoffs are just temporary. But as time goes on, concerns are growing that more and more will be permanent as companies scale back in the months to come.

Kimberly Finn was among those we found buying lunch at We Smokin', an outdoor barbecue in Norwood where recently laid-off workers were lining up for wood-smoked brisket and pork.

"Money is a little tight, yes. I have been laid off, so money is very tight," she said.

Sarah Meadows is also out-of-work, a daycare worker with few prospects until the crisis passes.

"School is out and daycares are closed," she said, "so I can't even look for work now."

But while it may be hard to believe during this time of mass layoffs, some companies are desperate for workers. And if your unemployment check is not enough to cover the bills (or you don't qualify for unemployment), you may want to check some of them out.

Delivery companies need drivers, packers

Have you noticed all the Amazon vans on your street?

Amazon is seeing a record-breaking surge in orders this spring, and needs tens of thousands of people to sort groceries and dry goods in its warehouses, and then get them to homes.

Jason Wheeler is a site leader at Amazon's giant Hebron, Kentucky, warehouse, one of several in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky that together need to hire more than 6,000 workers this spring.

"My side alone has hired over a hundred Amazonians, and needs to hire more in the coming weeks," Wheeler said. "We will continue to do our part for the community, the state, and the country."

But it is not just Amazon that needs people to sort, pack, and deliver.

United Courier is a Cincinnati-based shipper of medical equipment and supplies, which now includes the essential personal protective equipment for hospitals.

Business is booming these days at this Paddock Hills office where everyone gets their temperature checked several times a day, and owner Lynn Meyers rallies her workers dealing with a huge surge in orders.

"The people in the supply chain, they are actually out there beating the bushes every day," Meyers said.

Where to apply for work

Reports in Fast Company magazine and USA Today say if you need work, check some of these local businesses which likely are hiring.

  • Grocery and drug stores, especially Kroger, Walmart, and CVS: Hiring is up 123% this year, according to Fast Company. Walmart alone plans to add more than 100,000 employees this year.
  • Grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, which both need thousands of workers to deliver all those grocery orders that shoppers want brought to their door during the pandemic.
  • Restaurant delivery services like Uber Eats and Door Dash, for all those restaurant orders families are placing these days. (A huge help for Uber and Lyft drivers who have lost most of their income hauling passengers.)
  • Trucking firms, to get all those grocery and medical supplies to stores (though many will require a CDL license).
  • Pizza chains: Hiring is up 100%. Dominoes and Papa John's need immediate workers to help with the surge in takeout orders.
  • Home improvement stores, especially Home Depot and Lowe's (which needs to hire 30,000 workers).
  • Tobacco shops, cannabis/CBD clinics, and vape shops: Help Wanted ads are up 100%.
  • Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar: Each is adding thousands of staffers to restock stores.
  • Gun and rifle ranges: Up 269%, as people train to protect themselves.
  • Pet shops and breeders: Up 400%, as people rush to adopt new dogs and kittens.
  • Cable TV service providers: Up 52%, to handle all the extra calls from people stuck at home ("Hey, my internet just went out!").

Lynn Meyers says while her firm has to be very selective, since they deliver to hospitals, any company in the delivery chain probably needs workers right now.

"If you are touching it, eating it, or in any way involved with it, a truck delivered it," she said.

And good driving skills are not required, because just about every delivery firm has a warehouse behind it that could use some extra help right now.

As always, don't waste your money.

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