- Associated Press - Sunday, February 15, 2015

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - Good help is proving increasingly hard to find for WesBanco Arena, as manager Dennis Magruder said the venue is struggling to find reliable part-time employees.

Unemployment is down locally, and help wanted signs are a common sight at restaurants and retailers around the area. That means the arena is competing with many other employers for a shrinking pool of job-seekers.

The Greater Wheeling Sports and Entertainment Authority, which manages both the arena and the Capitol Theatre, only employs 13 people full-time. The rest are part-time positions, which can be a challenge to fill.

No-shows among the venue’s part-time staff have increased in recent years, according to Magruder, who said many people find the prospect of working mostly evenings and weekends unappealing. But such is the nature of the entertainment business, he said.

“We’re an event-driven business. … We work New Year’s Day, we work Easter. Not a lot of people are willing to do that.” Magruder said.

Adding to the problem, the jobs pay minimum wage and the hours are often irregular. Depending on the event schedule, a worker may be asked to work 30 hours one week, and 12 - or even none - the next. And when things slow down for the summer, Magruder said, workers often find employment elsewhere and don’t return.

Increasing wages to attract more applicants isn’t an option, according to Magruder.

He said the arena is constantly looking for ways to cut costs as the amount event promoters are willing to pay continues to shrink.

Magruder said the arena is looking for five or six additional employees, primarily to work concessions and maintenance.

“It’s an ongoing problem, but it’s one that our people handle pretty well,” he said. “We’re surviving, like everybody else.”

Magruder said anyone interested in applying should stop by the arena office and pick up an application.


Information from: The Intelligencer, https://www.theintelligencer.net

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