Chamber event focuses on summer staffing issues

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Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish.

Staffing-up for the peak summer season has always been a challenge for Whitefish businesses, and never more so than in the summer of 2019, according to the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce.

Popular local restaurants had to shut their doors because they couldn’t find or hold onto workers; shops and hotels ran with skeleton staffs and curtailed services; business owners and managers were pressed into service to change beds, run cash registers and do the “heavy lifting;” and competition for entry-level workers has pushed starting wages as high as $15 an hour.

The Chamber will focus on providing answers for businesses during its Summer Staffing Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Grouse Mountain Lodge to bring employers large and small together to share what’s worked and what hasn’t in their efforts to deal with the ever-worsening worker shortage.

Human resource directors from Whitefish Mountain Resort, Glacier Restaurant Group and Pursuit (formerly Glacier Park Inc.) will talk about how their organizations have tackled the problem, as will representatives from the Montana Job Service and a host of local small businesses.

The event runs from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Grouse Mountain Lodge, and is free to members of the Whitefish business community.

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