Friday, May 9, 2008

COMMENTARY: Full Time Employment Opportunities Overstated

According to the New Era of May 7: "Interstate Hotels, which will operate the Marriott hotel and the county meeting center, is expected to hire 120 to 200 people beginning next February. A March opening of the facilities is planned.

"Mark Moosic, general manager of the facilities, said most of the jobs -- as much as 80 percent -- will be full-time positions. The number of employees will depend on the number of hotel guests and convention center functions. He expects the number of hires to be closer to 200 than to 120, he said."

According to hotelier Robert Edwin Field (president of, it is unlikely that a majority of these jobs will be "full-time positions."

1) The hotel will generate full-time positions for its managers, sales staff, maintenance personnel and some housekeeping, food and beverage, and front staff personnel. Since occupancy will vary significantly, there will be a considerable need for part-time room attendants, front desk employees, and food and beverage (especially banquet) serving staff.

2) The convention center will generate full-time positions among its managers, sales and custodial staff. Because bookings will be only for a few days at a time, will vary from week to week, and be seasonal, much of the rest of the staff will be part-time.

3) Many front desk and housekeeping workers at hotels are college students and women who are only available part-time. Banquet staff members are almost all part-time employees.

4) Benefits for full-time employees cost about $3 per hour, a consideration that induces hospitality industry management to engage part-time personnel.

5) With the advent of the Marriott, the staff at the Brunswick will likely be reduced due to less occupancy, thus offsetting job gains at the Marriott.

Because hotels and convention center generate jobs that can be taught and because of the hotel and convention center's location within walking distance of potential employees who lack vehicles, it will provide employment opportunities for many.