CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – On this first day of the Canfield Fair, there are more than a few concessionaires still struggling to find enough bodies to run their stands.
“Today you can’t get help at all… no matter what you do,” said Darlene DeChellis with Grandma Lamana’s Pepperoni Rolls.
DeChellis has been operating her concessions stands at the fair every year since 1987. This year, she has three of them and is still looking for more help.
“They were supposed to be here at 11. I have a text message at noon, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t make it today.’ Really?” DeChellis said.
Not far away, Karen Rutana and her husband have been running Rutana’s Hot Apple Dumplings trailers for years, but up until now, the couple never actually had to work their stands.
“We have always had employees. We never had a problem and this year, we are short employees,” Rutana said.
Rutana says the problem has been the same all summer long, blaming some of it on the lingering effects of the pandemic, but she adds it goes deeper than that.
“It seems that nobody wants to work, and the ones that we find, they don’t want to work,” she said.
Even the fair board has the “help wanted” sign out, looking for more people to man the parking areas.
In years past, the fair hired 100 local high schoolers to direct traffic through the parking lots. But this year, there are only about 60 on hand.
“We need some kids and we need some adults. So if there’s any adults out there that are looking for work and wanna come help with the fair, we could use ’em,” said Chuck Booth with the Canfield Fair Board.
Those who are interested can stop by the main offices at the fairgrounds and fill out an application.
Attendants work 12-hour shifts but make $90 a day to start.