River Cinemas Shows Strong Employee Retention and Satisfaction Amid Tight Job Market – Grand Forex Herald

EAST GRAND FORKS – Whereas many corporations have struggled to rent and retain them within the wake of the COVID pandemic, River Cinema in East Grand Forks has seen the alternative – an abundance of motivated younger workers.

For Roxy Honkola, who first labored at River Cinema from 2011-2014, returning in 2018 after a four-year hiatus, working in theater is a household affair.

“My grandfather constructed this place,” Honkola mentioned. “I moved right here proper out of highschool, and theater appeared like a enjoyable place to work. My brother labored right here earlier than me and I actually preferred it, so I used to be excited to provide it a attempt.”

Proprietor Penny Keep, who took over the corporate from her dad and mom in 2020, primarily employs teen and faculty staff. Hiring younger workers is a reasonably typical pattern within the movie show trade, Keep mentioned, and praises their work ethic.

“A lot of the workers who work for me are between the ages of 16 and 24,” Keep mentioned. “I very a lot take pleasure in working with a youthful age group. They’re onerous staff – accountable and reliable. Lots of them will eagerly volunteer to cowl shifts when their co-workers cannot come.”

Honkola appreciates the pliability Keep affords its workers, now that it has a household of its personal.

“Penny allows you to are available and inform her your schedule, after which she works with you round it,” Honkola mentioned. “I’ve a daughter, and he or she’s very adjusting to not having me schedule nights and weekends. I was a bartender, and that sort of schedule could be not possible as a bartender.”

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(LR) River Cinema workers Jace Kasprowicz, Damien Moore, Mila Evenson-Perez, Harley Culpo, Savannah Schiffer and Grayson Cosnia take a break for a photograph on Thursday, January 5, 2023 in East Grand Forks.

Eric Hilden/Grand Foreign exchange Herald

Keep understands the significance of getting a devoted and hardworking workforce in as we speak’s job market.

In keeping with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Grand Forks County’s unemployment price for November, the newest month for the information, was 1.6%, greater than 2% beneath the nationwide common of three.7%. Having such a low unemployment price could make it tough for employers to draw and retain workers. Ste says that is one thing she did not have to fret about.

“When COVID hit, a whole lot of corporations laid off workers. We stored all of our workers after we reopened,” Keep mentioned.

This tight job market is sweet for the world’s youth, mentioned Barry Welfart, President and CEO of the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce.

“Rising up, discovering a job as a highschool scholar was very aggressive,” mentioned Welfart. “As we speak, the market is 180 levels totally different. Our metropolitan space has one of many 5 lowest unemployment charges in the US, so younger staff have many job alternatives. I additionally consider that the present market forces employers to regulate to their schedules, which is necessary for younger staff who steadiness amongst different obligations resembling college.”

Keep attributes its potential to draw and retain workers to providing advantages and versatile schedules.

“We provide our full-time workers paid day without work, half meals on their workdays, and free film tickets for themselves and one visitor,” Keep mentioned. “We are able to additionally work round their college schedules by providing night time and weekend shifts. I feel the optimistic work surroundings speaks for itself – most of my workers keep no less than three to 4 years.”

Keep additionally mentioned that its current workers are additionally a great useful resource for recruiting and hiring new workers.

“Nearly all of my new hires are referrals from current workers—associates, household, and roommates,” mentioned Keep.

When it comes to the theater’s continued development, Keep says every year because the onset of the pandemic has been stronger than the final, and he or she expects attendance to rebound to pre-pandemic ranges by 2024.

“A whole lot of the explanations we’re late getting again to the 2019 numbers has to do with the movie manufacturing backlog,” mentioned Keep. “As an alternative of the standard 90 main releases, we have about 36. There’s a whole lot of animation elements backlogged. We’re hoping for extra new releases in 2023, hopefully with pre-pandemic numbers coming in by the tip of 2024.”

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