Summer jobs are out there, but employers are struggling to fill them

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Employers are struggling to fill positions for summer jobs, so if you're in need of some extra cash, now is the perfect time to apply for a gig.

Dozens of job seekers visited Moody Gardens in Galveston on Wednesday for their job fair. They're currently looking for summer and year-round positions. For many, the job fair was a breath of fresh air. For the first time in a year, job seekers were finally able to look for a job at an in-person event.

"I'm ready to start working again," said Evelyn Bell of Texas City. "Sometimes it takes patience."

Bell said she's waited since the start of the pandemic to get back on her feet.

"The pandemic hit in March of 2020," Bell recalled. "I was probably out of work by mid-March." She's not alone. Rebecca Yousaf couldn't wait to speak with someone about a job in-person as well.

WATCH: Nearly 100 jobs available in the Memorial area
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Nearly 100 jobs are available in several industries, including manufacturing, child care, work from home and hospitality.

"I would be so excited," Yousaf explained. "Right now, I'm looking for a job to try and get back on my feet. It would really mean a lot to me."

Instead of a virtual event, Mood Gardens decided to meet candidates face to face.

"There's something about that eye contact that you have and understanding that person, and the conversations you can have in the moment," said Jerri Hamachek, the marketing director for Moody Gardens.

Right now, summer employers are struggling to find workers, and it's not just Moody Gardens.

On Thursday at 11:30 a.m., ABC13 is partnering with Workforce Solutions to host a virtual job fair featuring more than 1,500 jobs, including open positions at Landry's and Typhoon Texas.

Employers said the threat of the virus, and boosted unemployment benefits, makes it hard to find candidates.

"We have more people getting vaccinated and we have things opening up more so the opportunities are here now, and we have the positions to offer," Hamachek said.

If you missed the Moody Gardens job fair, you can still apply on their website.

To preview the positions that will be featured during Thursday's job fair, visit Workforce Solutions' website and look for the "As Seen on ABC13 section."

Watch Thursday's virtual job fair on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC13 Houston."

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