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First Coast Businesses Looking For Thousands Of Workers With Wave Of Job Fairs

Chris Carlson
Associated Press file photo

Many First Coast area businesses are struggling to keep pace with booming demand from newly vaccinated customers looking to get back into the swing of things after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended all local COVID-19 emergency orders earlier this month.

Among the latest companies to announce a hiring event is BJ’s Wholesale Club, which will hiring statewide, including at its Jacksonville Atlantic Boulevard and Philips Highway locations, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, May 15.

The positions available include:

  • Supervisors, leads, managers
  • Cashiers
  • Member experience
  • Bakery, deli, meat, and produce clerks
  • Maintenance/carts
  • Stock and recovery clerks
  • Forklift drivers
  • Meat cutters/butchers
  • Gas, tire service members

Masks will be required at the BJ’s events, which are being held at outdoor tents at each location. Here's more information.

The same day, Gate Hospitality will be trying to fill more than 90 positions at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, The Lodge & Club, The River Club and Epping-Forest Yacht & Country Club. The company's May 15 job fair will be held at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Conference Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Related: More Jobs Coverage

Some employers have said they believe unemployment benefits have been keeping some potential workers on the sidelines, which President Joe Biden addressed on Monday.

"We're going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who was offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits," Biden said before adding: "We don't see much evidence of that."

In Florida, people getting unemployment benefits will have to show they looked for work on a weekly basis after Memorial Day, as the state pushes to get workers back on the job, particularly at restaurants.

As WJCT News has previously reported, local hospitality businesses are coming together to try to hire about a 1,000 workers at a multi-location hiring event on Tuesday, May 18.  The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Lowes, JAX Airport and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department have also announced hiring initiatives. See the Related Content links below this story for details on each of them.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.