ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando-area’s Westgate Resorts held a job fair Tuesday in an effort to fill hundreds of positions with the hotel and resort destination company.
The company said it’s seeking 865 full and part-time workers, as well as seasonal workers for its Orlando resorts.
Westgate was looking to hire a variety of positions even beyond the job fair Tuesday, including front desk workers, resort management, housekeeping, security and others.
The job fair ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at 9500 Turkey Lake Road.
Luis Cones, 20, arrived in Orlando from Venezuela three years ago. He recently got his authorization to work and is wasting no time applying for a job in the hospitality industry at one of the Westgate Lakes Resorts in Central Florida.
“This is going to be my first job in Orlando,” Cones said. “I’m really excited ‘cause I know this type of job is going to allow me to meet new people, people from other countries. I want to be interacting with people, solving other people’s problems.”
Cones was among hundreds of job applicants who came ready to impress managers in a variety of departments from security, food and beverage to engineering. Dee and Darral Goodman are hopeful they’ll find the right job at the event as well.
“We made the applications online-- got indication that the job fair was today. We showed up and they let us know that there could be on the spot hiring done today as well,” Darral Goodman said.
His wife, Dee Goodman, said they moved to Florida from Texas earlier this year to be closer to family and hope to find a job where they can apply their experience.
“(We’ve) been applying for different jobs since February. The response has been good but we’re really looking in the management field ‘cause that’s what we’re accustomed to now at the age that we are,” Dee Goodman said.
For José de la Torre, who was laid off from a Hyatt hotel more than a year ago, it’s been frustrating trying to get back into the workforce. He said in his native Spanish that he’s applied to several jobs but never gets a call back.
Applicants were interviewed on the spot and some were even hired right away.
“A lot of people are hurting out there and they don’t want to go through a two-, three-, four-week interview process and hope to get a callback. So, we’ve decided we’re gonna do same-day hiring and next day start,” said Brian Waltrip, senior vice president for development purchasing and operations of the resort. “So, we have a lot of great opportunities some of them work from home, some of them in our resort environments, our food and beverage, our corporate environments.”
Organizers of the event said it’s been challenging to get more people to apply.
“There is not enough applicants to fill all the positions in the Central Florida area,” Waltrip said. “We’re seeing a lot of challenges with this market right now. We’re not seeing as many applicants as we historically have.”
Westgate Lakes Resort told News 6 they’re looking to have another job fair in May and they’re hoping to target college graduates looking for summer jobs.
The hiring is also happening around the country. The company will be hiring more than 2,000 new team members at its resorts nationwide in the coming weeks.
Job seekers can also learn about opportunities at westgateresorts.com/careers/