WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A national labor shortage is affecting companies all across the country, as workers remain home, some collecting unemployment benefits.

The restaurant industry in particular has been hit hard, but there are many other sectors with jobs for the taking.

Mestek in Westfield is one of many employers that are currently hiring. They are looking to fill 60 positions and they plan to do that within a few weeks. So not applying now could mean missing out on a great opportunity. Mestek manufactures HVAC equipment. Their positions start at $15.50 an hour, but employees have worked their way up the ladder quickly, by learning new skills.

“Our employes have been working here, 20, 30, 40 years, its a great manufacturing facility and a great opportunity for people to start a career,” said Peter Letendre, Plant Manager for Mestek.

Mestek is one of over a dozen employers that will be featured in Saturday’s job fair. The hope is that having a diverse range of employers, will attract people from all walks of life.

“Its not just for adults that are out of work, but college kids and high schoolers looking for summer jobs,” said Eric Oulette, Executive Director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. “We don’t want people to wait until federal government’s money is gone. People are hiring now, so lets get everybody back to work and get back to our new normal.”

The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce is holding a job fair at Mestek, Inc. Saturday with a group of businesses.

The job fair will be held outside at Mestek, Inc. located at 214 North Elm Street in Westfield from 10 a.m. to noon. The state’s guidance on COVID-19 restrictions will be followed. The current mask order requires people to wear masks or face-coverings in indoor public places and outdoors when they are unable to maintain 6 feet from other people.

  • Face coverings are still required at all times in indoor public places. 
  • Face coverings also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except for when eating or drinking.
  • At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required.

The following businesses will be at the job fair:

  1. Mestek, Inc.
  2. C&S Wholesale Grocers
  3. Commercial Distributing Co., Inc.
  4. ProAmpac
  5. USA Waste and Recycling, Inc.
  6. Staples, Inc.
  7. Six Flags New England
  8. Northwestern Mutual
  9. Viability
  10. Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield
  11. Climate Engineering Companies
  12. Lenox Industrial Tools
  13. Western Mass Council, Boy Scouts of America
  14. Friendly’s

The latest jobs report released shows that employers added 266,000 jobs in April, which is about 500,000 less than March. Construction, retail, and manufacturing industries had the highest number of jobs posted.

Industry groups and restaurant owners are reporting worker shortages as COVID-19 restrictions are loosening throughout the country. Several possible reasons include employees’ safety concerns, or the need to care for children who are still learning remotely.