St. Pete Beach resort adding jobs, growing wages

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 16:48:44-05

Nick Czerniec is applying to work at TradeWinds Resort in St. Pete Beach. The 25-year-old just recently moved to the area to help care for his dad, who has Parkinson's.

"There are plenty of opportunities I found out here, and that's just what I'm doing here is trying to find a new opportunity, get more hours, get more money and help out my dad a little more," Czerniec said.

Czerniec was excited to hear about the perks TradeWinds offers, including a new starting minimum wage of $10 an hour and signing bonuses of up to $2,000.

"Unemployment is relatively low in Pinellas County right now. We believe most people who aren't working, aren't capable of working. So it's really about how we attract people from other hotels, other businesses, who are already employed -- Maybe we can attract them and get them here," said Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resort.

Overton says most competitors pay $8.50 per hour to start, but a rebound in visitors to the region is allowing him to spend a little extra on wages, hoping it won't only attract quality workers, but also keep them.

"Fortunately for us, we're in a really high travel demand season here. For three years in a row, we've had record numbers. So, we're able to sustain some growth in wages because we've had that rate growth," said Overton.

But finding good workers is a tough job. The resort is hoping a two-day career fair, being held Wednesday and Thursday this week, will help. TradeWinds has more than 950 employees on staff now and wants to have 1200 on the payroll by March, when visitors numbers start climbing at the beach.

If you're interested in applying for work at the resort, the career fair is being held there again Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Managers will be conducting interviews and hiring for positions on the spot. You can also view job postings online at