Dozens of people applied for hundreds of retail openings Wednesday at the first-ever job fair of its kind.
The Retail Merchants of Hawaii retail job fair at Ward Warehouse was tailored specifically for the retail industry. The organization says it set up the event based on feedback from members.
“They had a lot of job openings, and they could not find qualified individuals to fill it, so we wanted to do something to help them,” said Sheri Sakamoto, president, Retail Merchants of Hawaii.
Forty-five local stores set up booths in advance of the holiday season, offering more than a thousand jobs ranging from clerks to managers.
“It’s been pretty successful. I’ve talked to a lot of companies, JTB, ABC, and I have the credentials and the qualifications to work with them, so I feel I can find a position in here,” said one applicant.
Sakamoto says the retail sector employs roughly 25 percent of Hawaii’s workforce, or about 200,000 jobs.
“We pose a really big impact on the community and the economy, just as much so I would believe as the tour industry,” she said.
The retail job fair is expected to become an annual event.