Despite having two shops, Walker said they have not had to hire too many seasonal workers recently.
"Over the last 20 years there's been a decrease. In the late '80s, early '90s, we would have probably 10 seasonal workers. Now we usually have one or two," Walker said.
Walker says the decline in seasonal workers has to do with having a less-occupied space. Kelley's opened in downtown Charleston in a 10,000-square-foot building before moving to a 5,000-square-foot building on the West Side. Its Bridge Road shop is even smaller.
Bunny Harper with WorkForce West Virginia helps connect employers with seasonal workers. Harper finds workers for retail companies like Walmart and Toys R Us, but also works with the United States Post Office, tax services like H&R Block and delivery services like FedEx.
"We deal with a lot of companies and we expect them to roll in about October and then we know it's going to dwindle down by the time it hits Christmas," Harper said. "Those are all good jobs and they're pretty good pay."
People seeking employment working with WorkForce West Virginia can come into the office and fill out an online application for work. Harper said that takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
The application asks for education level, work experience and other qualifications or certifications the applicant may have.
"The good thing for companies is we are like an HR system," Harper said. "We filter through the list so they are not getting the ones that don't qualify but only the ones that do."
At that point, Harper said companies then contact WorkForce and choose the applicants they want. Sometimes Harper said the holiday jobs turn into year-round work.
"That's our ultimate goal, to be able to get people back into society [and be] able to be productive and earn an income," Harper said.
Harper said they have a wide variety of job seekers but volume tends to increase around the holiday season.
"Job applications do pick up around the holidays and I think a lot of it is you have a lot of school people, college kid types that are out for those holidays and are looking for jobs," Harper said.
She's been on the job for six years. Within the last year to 18 months, Harper has noticed an increase in job listings.
"There was a lapse period there where I think everybody was scared employers weren't posting positions like they normally do," Harper said. "Employers were really taking their time and going slow but now all that has stopped in the past year."
Job postings, seasonal or otherwise, are continuing to increase as the economy recovers from the recession, Harper said.
"Some of the employers are posting more than normal and it seems like it's different sectors," Harper added. "Retail and restaurant sectors -- all those seem to have doubled."Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.