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State agencies join forces to help tourism industry tackle workforce shortages

09/30/2021 | RISE NM

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) are teaming up to address the workforce needs of the leisure and hospitality sector and assist with the sector’s hiring efforts. 

Owners and managers of businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector are encouraged to share their priority workforce needs with NMDWS through an online survey. NMDWS will then refer job seekers from its pool of qualified candidates directly to leisure and hospitality businesses that have completed the survey. 

To best match job seekers with job vacancies within New Mexico's leisure and hospitality sector, NMDWS is asking for feedback from businesses about their most urgent job vacancies over the next three months, the wages for those priority vacancies, and how businesses are currently promoting those vacancies.

"I am confident we can arrive at creative and immediate solutions for this industry which is vital to the state's economic recovery," said Department of Workforce Solutions Acting Secretary Ricky Serna. "We need employers to complete the survey to ensure our resources and strategies are pointing in the right direction."

“We want New Mexico’s leisure and hospitality sector to know that we recognize the pain points of the continued labor shortage and we’re ready to work together to tackle those challenges,” sad Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer. “We cannot hope to realize a full recovery for the tourism industry until these workforce issues are resolved.” 

“I commend the Tourism Department and the Department of Workforce Solutions for recognizing the need to address the tourism industry’s hiring challenges in a collaborative manner,” said Tourism Commission Chair Jennifer Kimball. “I encourage tourism business owners and managers to provide their input so we can continue to stabilize the workforce.” 

In addition to receiving referrals of qualified job seekers directly from NMDWS, businesses that complete the survey will also gain access to resources for improved customer service training.  

As of August 2021, job postings in the leisure and hospitality sector are down 15 percent for New Mexico compared to pre-pandemic levels. Nationally, leisure and hospitality job postings are up roughly 18 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector for August 2021 was roughly 6.6 percent below employment levels for August 2019 in New Mexico. Nationally, the decrease in leisure and hospitality employment over the same timeframe was 8.2 percent. 

Businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector can share their priority workforce needs here. More information on tourism recovery and employment trends is available on the NMTD website.

Link: https://www.dws.state.nm.us/en-us/News/Latest-News/state-agencies-join-forces-to-help-tourism-industry-tackle-workforce-shortages