Denver's airport held a job fair to plug its huge labor shortage. An exec said he'd hoped 5,000 people would come - but only 100 showed up.

  • A job fair at Denver's airport on Saturday attracted just 100 people, an exec told a local outlet.

  • He said organizers had hoped 5,000 people would come to fill both entry-level and management roles.

  • A concessions company said that it needed to fill 38 jobs but that only two people applied.

Only about 100 people turned up to a job fair on Saturday aimed at plugging Denver International Airport's huge labor shortage, Denver's ABC affiliate reported.

Dennis Deslongchamp, the president of the Denver Concessionaires Association, told KMGH that organizers had hoped for about 5,000 people at the fair, which he called a "very lofty goal."

Organizers had wanted to fill about 1,000 jobs at the airport, but only about 100 people came to the four-hour fair, Deslongchamp told the outlet.

Derik Mortenson, the director of operations at Concessions International, said the organizers "were expecting the masses to come knocking on our door."

Mortenson said that Concessions International - which has eight concessions at the airport, including branches of Chick-fil-A and Wetzel's Pretzels - had needed to hire at least 38 workers but that only two people applied.

The US's labor shortage has affected industries ranging from education and healthcare to trucking and restaurants. Record numbers of Americans have quit their jobs in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The DCA and airport leadership organized the job fair at the airport's United Club with representatives from nearly 170 concessions, KMGH reported.

Jobs ranged from entry-level positions to top management roles, Deslongchamp said.

Free flu and COVID-19 jabs were available at the fair, too.

Elisa Lalama, the human-resources director for Skyport Hospitality, which runs concessions at the airport including Shake Shack, Snooze A.M. Eatery, and Dunkin', told the outlet that the company was looking to hire more than 150 workers.

"We are at such a staffing deficit that we'd be grateful for just five," Lalama said.

Deslongchamp said that he didn't consider the event a failure and that he hoped to run it annually.

The airport's hiring woes aren't limited to its concessions.

Its labor shortage could be contributing to huge airport-security lines as travel rebounds, The Denver Post reported last month.

The airport also hasn't been able to fully reopen its shuttle bus that ferries travelers to the airport because of a shortage of drivers at its shuttle-bus contractor, The Burlington Record reported.

Last month, about 350 janitors at the airport voted to authorize a strike for better pay and workloads.

"We are sick of being understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and undervalued for our work," a janitor who has worked at the airport for 16 years told his branch of the Service Employees International Union.

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