Job seekers stream into Hartsfield-Jackson career fair



A job fair hosted by Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport drew 2,500 registered job seekers and dozens of employers on Wednesday — the largest turnout in years, according to airport officials.

The volume of job seekers brought hope to short-staffed concessionaires that have struggled to find enough workers to open their stores with full schedules.

Travelers may notice that some restaurants and eateries at Hartsfield-Jackson are closed during late night or early morning hours, causing long lines at the locations that are open.

Hartsfield-Jackson sent letters to some concessionaires last month warning of penalties for not fully reopening, said Hartsfield-Jackson chief commercial officer Jai Ferrell. The airport took a more lenient approach earlier in the pandemic, when many businesses were unable to find enough workers to reopen all of their locations or operate full hours.

But now, with Hartsfield-Jackson handling nearly 94 million passengers in 2022 — approaching 2019 traffic levels of more than 110 million passengers — airport officials are making a renewed push for concessionaires to open all of their locations with full schedules to serve passengers.

Job seekers who streamed into the airport atrium on Wednesday indicated there’s interest in airport jobs.

“I love the airport, I love traveling,” said Layla Sedberry, an 18-year-old hoping for a job in customer service at the airport. “I think it’s a really interesting place to work, and exciting, too.”

But many food and beverage outlets are still unable to find enough workers to fill all their open positions.

Damese Bell, who works in human resources at airport concessionaire Mack II, said the company is getting more job applications. But, “we’re still quite a ways from being fully staffed.”