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

EAST GRAND FORKS – Whereas many firms 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 staff.

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 favored it, so I used to be excited to offer 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 staff is a reasonably typical pattern within the movie show business, Keep mentioned, and praises their work ethic.

“Many of the staff who work for me are between the ages of 16 and 24,” Keep mentioned. “I very a lot get pleasure from 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 provides its staff, now that it has a household of its personal.

“Penny enables 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 form of schedule can be unimaginable as a bartender.”

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(LR) River Cinema staff 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 staff in immediately’s job market.

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

“When COVID hit, plenty of firms laid off staff. We stored all of our staff once we reopened,” Keep mentioned.

This tight job market is nice for the realm’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 pupil was very aggressive,” mentioned Welfart. “As we speak, the market is 180 levels completely 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 essential for younger staff who stability amongst different obligations akin to college.”

Keep attributes its skill to draw and retain staff to providing advantages and versatile schedules.

“We provide our full-time staff 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 constructive work surroundings speaks for itself – most of my staff keep not less than three to 4 years.”

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

“The vast majority of my new hires are referrals from present staff—mates, 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.

“Quite a 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 same old 90 main releases, we have about 36. There’s plenty 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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