Sign reading "Workers Wanted Apply Within"By Chris Polk, CAPP

Many states are now beginning to allow businesses to reopen due to the decrease in COVID-19 deaths and the increase in vaccinations. As states have begun to reopen for business, the demand for parking services has increased, and so has the demand for staff. How that is managed will be the next big parking challenge.

There are millions of Americans out of work, yet the applicant pool is still low. When hiring new employees, you are competing with other employers to offer the best pay, culture, and experience. Now you are not only competing with other businesses that are reopening, but you are also competing with current unemployment benefits–it’s said some Americans may be making more money to stay home.

Technology will be our saving grace. The industry was headed in the direction of modifying the way they operate by increasing automation, and moving to more app-based technologies, but this new struggle will thrust this move to technology into overdrive. While this might ultimately lead to a lower job pool when employees are ready to return to work, it is necessary to reopen.

Chris Polk, CAPP, is general manager with REEF Parking.