With 75 open positions, Sioux Falls Regional Airport hosts first job fair

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Businesses all over KELOLAND are dealing with the labor shortage and are trying new things to draw in workers.  For the first time ever, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport held a job fair.

“Actually my mom told me about this,” Crista Kaeding said.

The airport’s Tuesday job fair attracted some interested applicants like Crista Kaeding, who is exploring a potential change.

“I’ve mainly worked retail,” Kaeding said. “I’m kind of low on hours and still trying to get more, so just trying to look for more of a full-time job.”

She’s finding plenty of open options from all of the vendors at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.

“Right now across the airport we’re estimating about 75 openings from fuelers, to restaurant operators and security screeners,” Sioux Falls Regional Airport Deputy Director Richard King said.

With so many open positions, the impacts of the labor shortage are evident for both passengers and all those currently working at the airport.

“Your employees get tired, they get a little overworked, a little overstressed, then injuries happen, so we are just trying to alleviate that,” King said.

“I’ve been with FedEx for six years now and I’ve never seen anything like this as far as employee shortages. It’s crazy how short-staffed everyone is,” FedEx Express Sioux Falls Operations Manager Brad Nelson said.

The labor shortage is even more noticeable as the airport gets busier with more travelers and more freight arriving every day throughout the pandemic.

“We’re seeing record levels of packages,” Nelson said. “If you think about all the packages you get for Christmas, it’s been that way for the last 18 months.”

It’s why these companies and the airport itself are doing everything they can to entice new workers to join their team.

“It’s a part-time position with full-time benefits: health, dental, vision, the whole nine yards,” Nelson said.

Incentives that are resonating with some job seekers.

“A lot of the pay does sound kind of nice,” Kaeding said.

The Sioux Falls Regional Airport directors say recruiting more employees is essential to keeping flights on time and getting passengers the services and safety they need to fly.

You can learn more about some of the 75 openings at the airport on their website.

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