Inspire U: The Podcast

Waiters and waitresses. Security guards. Even massage therapists. They’re all in high demand as Indianapolis businesses temporarily bulk up their staffs in preparation for throngs of Super Bowl fans.

For the broader economy, the temp jobs represent just a small upward blip, economists say. But for residents in between jobs, the cash from a temporary gig brings huge financial relief.

“It’s really helped me out a lot,” said Toni Clark, who works as a banquet server for LGC Hospitality Staffing. “I can have something in my pocket until I can find full-time work.”

While Clark’s boyfriend helps with the larger bills, the money from her job has paid for groceries and allowed her to financially assist her son who is in college.

Plenty more people will have the same opportunity to earn some additional cash, said Glen Greenawalt, LGC’s executive vice president.

The company is looking to hire 1,000 temporary employees for the weeks leading up to the Feb. 5 Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium. Most of the jobs will pay $9 to $17 an hour. New hires will work as customer service representatives, cooks and servers for the convention center, major downtown hotels, The Columbia Club, Skyline Club and Centerplate, the hospitality service for Lucas Oil Stadium and NFL events.

“We afford the opportunity for these (organizations) to take on more business than they normally could,” Greenawalt said. “They can double their production for a few days or a few weeks.”

Overall, the Super Bowl is expected to result in a one-time burst of $384 million in total economic activity, according to projections by Michael Hicks, associate professor of economics at Ball State University.

It also will add $213 million in direct wages and 5,000 jobs — some temporary to support Super Bowl-only events and some permanent to meet the ongoing needs of the expanding convention business spurred by the city’s international exposure as the Super Bowl host.

The temporary jobs, however, will have little effect on Indiana’s 8.7 percent unemployment rate, experts say.

“It’s not going to have any sort of lasting impact,” said Kathy Gjerde, an associate professor of economics at Butler University. “It’s a flash in the pan.”

But putting new work experience on the resumes of long out-of-work residents could help them land full-time jobs later.

Hicks noted that some hiring managers have opted to ignore applicants unemployed for a year or more. A temp job could serve as a “gateway” to permanent employment, he said.

Temp opportunities are plentiful at restaurants, security companies and spas.

Indy All Night, which delivers burgers, pizza and pasta to night owls from 7 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., is adding 10 delivery drivers, four order takers and eight cooks.

Owner Jim Garberding said he didn’t want to miss out on what he expects to be two months’ worth of sales between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5.

Elsewhere, Trinity Executive Security is hiring 50 people to meet current clients’ “accelerated” security needs. And Blu and Hyde Nightclubs are looking for 150 extra people, from bouncers to bartenders, to serve customers at temporary adjunct venues built on Meridian Street parking lots.

And don’t forget the Body Works Day Spa at 435 Virginia Ave. Some fresh paint, a couples massage room and a relaxation room has the spa ready for the crowds. It’s bringing in additional massage therapists and front desk help to deal with the expected Super Bowl rush.

SOURCE: http://www.indystar.com/article/20120117/BUSINESS/201170336/Indy-businesses-hiring-temps-Super-Bowl-2012

Also On RadioNOW 100.9: