March is a big planning month at Ocean City. All the seasonal businesses that have been hibernating for the winter are getting ready to open, so they need workers to help handle the load in the summer when the community balloons from about 10,000 year-round locals to more than 300,000 tourists a week.
Up until about five years ago, the Ocean City job fair was nothing more than a hub for college kids to come and score a part-time restaurant gig for the summer. But Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Pursel says since the economic downturn, the job fair has become much more competitive.
"We've definitely been seeing professionals who have been laid off, they want a career change, they're looking to go back to work after retirement, and our employers have seen this market potential there," she says.
Pursel says she expects thousands of to attend the job fair at the Ocean City Convention Center, and she says many of them will have a new occupation by Easter Sunday.