Grocery stores hiring thousands of workers during coronavirus pandemic

Some local employers are desperate to hire new workers, because they've had to ramp up operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are one of the many who have just lost your job, pay attention to this story -- and you may not need specialized skills to be hired.

By one estimate, at least 25 percent of all American workers making less than $50,000 a year have just lost their paychecks. But a local group founded during the last great recession ten years ago is looking for precisely those people.

Trudging through crowded job fairs was an all too familiar experience for unemployed Chicagoans during the last great recession. That's when Marie Lynch founded one of the area's most successful not-for-profits, now used by big employers in Chicago when they need to hire.

“Jewel-Osco, Walgreen’s, Costco, Mariano's -- any of those companies right now are looking for people,” Lynch said.

Those and many other local companies are suddenly facing a surge in demand because of the COVID-19 coronavirus public health crisis, even as others are eliminating workers.

“There’s a whole bunch of jobs that are not there and are not gonna be there for a while. Do not spend your time on hospitality. Do not spend your time on retail at this moment. Do not spend your time on hotels or airlines, even if those are your dream job,” Lynch said.

Lynch's group, now called "Skills for Chicagoland's Future," specializes in practical advice for job seekers.

“Don’t get caught up in what your job description says that you're supposed to do. And recognize where your manager or your company is moving,” Lynch said.

Also hiring, she says, are freight and cargo handlers, call centers, as well as hospitals and medical caregivers.