Amid COVID-19 pandemic, numerous Minnesota employers are hiring

Closed signs may be going up at businesses throughout Minnesota, but there are thousands of jobs waiting to be filled.

“Our message is ‘We can meet your needs, we have all kinds of opportunities across the state,’” said Shannon Bock, president of ARRM.

ARRM is a trade association of home and community-based providers that support people living with disabilities. According to Bock, there were nearly 19,000 skilled caregivers needed before the COVID-19 crisis.

“Those are our staff that are on the front line, who are critical to providing quality care to the folks that we support,” Bock said.

She expects the current crisis could exacerbate the need.

ARRM is a member of The Best Life Alliance, a statewide coalition, which launched #MeetTheNeedMN on Friday. It’s a campaign to hire more direct support professionals.

“It could be anything from helping someone with daily tasks around their home to helping someone with complex medical needs,” Bock said. “We can bring people in and provide the training that’s necessary.”

The hashtag also provides a list of opportunities for job seekers.

They’re hiring! Companies seek thousands of new employees amid the coronavirus pandemic

ARRM CEO Sue Schettle said, “We know that many Minnesotans who worked in bars, restaurants and stores have recently lost their jobs, along with many others who are experiencing employment uncertainty. Through #MeetTheNeedMN, we want to invite these valuable workers into our industry where the need for support professionals is greater than ever.”

On Monday, the Department of Employment and Economic Development listed the seven top employers currently hiring in Minnesota. It includes Allina Health, Fairview Health Services, Securitas: Security Services, Wells Fargo, Randstad Staffing, Walgreens andThomas Allen Inc.

“There are lots of companies that are hiring, and we’re continuing to see job postings come up on our National Labor Exchange and on our website at DEED,” Commissioner Steve Grove said. “We encourage Minnesotans who are looking for work to look at companies that are hiring.”

A spokesperson for Allina said, "In this rapidly changing environment due the COVID-19 pandemic, Allina Health continues to evaluate our immediate and long-term staffing needs. Our first priority is engaging current staff whose normal work may be on pause in order to offer opportunity to help support active COVID-19 response efforts. We will continue to recruit and hire in areas which are a priority for us including positions such as Specialty RNs, LPNs, Surgical Techs, Emergency Department Med Techs, EMTs, Pharmacy Techs and Physicians. We have worked to find creative ways to continue to hire and effectively onboard new employees in order to serve our patients and the community."

The U.S. Postal Service told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it’s looking for help to deal with an increase in demand.

“Our package volume just recently has gone up 30 percent, so we have a high need right now to deliver America’s mail and get the mail out to our customers,” said Nicole Hill, a USPS communications specialist.

She said the increase in demand coincides with the COVID-19 crisis, as more people are ordering goods online.

According to Hill, they’re looking to fill about 1,100 positions, including assistant rural carriers, rural carrier associates, city carrier associates, tractor-trailer operators and automotive technicians. Each job pays between $17 per hour and $22 per hour.

Grocery stores are also seeing an increase in demand, from Hy-Vee to Kowalski’s.

Last week, Hy-Vee announced it’s looking for temporary employees to help with restocking, cleaning and sanitizing.

Meanwhile, Kowalski’s has hired about 70 part-time workers in the last two weeks. The company said it could use about another five to eight employees at each of its 12 locations.

They’re also looking for help with restocking, cleaning and sanitizing. The company expects job openings could increase as time goes on, if current employees decide to stay home.