Hospitality jobs see tremendous growth in Music City

Nashville 2019

For the past eight months, Lauren Holcombe has been checking in guests at the Omni Hotel downtown. 

“I kind of did restaurants before this, but I knew I wanted to stay in hospitality,” Holcombe said. 

It’s an industry she says that’s bursting at the seams when it comes to job openings. 

Companies are still trying to recruit her even though she’s not looking for work. 

“There’s been a bunch of people that have reached out to me trying to get me to a different hotel,” she said. 

Greg Adkins, CEO and President of Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association, says more than 100 restaurants have opened in Nashville in the past year and more than 20 new hotels will open in the next year and a half. 

Lots of new hospitality jobs that Adkins says often don’t have enough workers to fill them. 

“One of the largest issues that we’re having is finding workforce,” Adkins said. 

From management to entry-level jobs, Adkins says there’s always a gap. 

“We’re seeing anywhere from a 5 to 10 percent sometimes 20 percent openings in any given situation,” Adkins said. 

About two years ago, the city’s Convention and Visitors Corporation started Hospitality Works. 

They hold at least two job fairs a year and created a website with hotel and restaurant openings. 

“Finding managers, finding employees to work in various positions,” Adkins said. 

The openings have made it a job-seeker’s market for workers like Holcombe who’s gotten more offers than she ever thought possible. 

“It really is overwhelming,” Holcombe said. 

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