The average commute for Americans is inching up to one half hour, but more and more commuters are traveling 90 minutes a day or longer, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Long commutes impact quality of life for working people and their families,” said John Rurka, human resources manager for Montgomery Place. To combat this growing problem and to foster a greater sense of belonging for new employees, the life plan community at 5550 South Shore Drive recently held an onsite hiring event. “We aimed to attract service workers from Hyde Park and nearby neighborhoods. Our mini-job fair drew 277 applicants,” said Rurka.
“The response exceeded our expectations 10-fold, with most applicants coming from the 60637-zip code and nearby,” Rurka said. To reach promising candidates, Montgomery Place advertised in the Hyde Park Herald, and worked with the Woodlawn Resource Center and a Department of Human Services office in Skokie.
“We were thrilled so many Chicagoans living nearby responded because our goal as an employer is to support our local community,” said Deborah Hart, CEO of Montgomery Place. “By reaching out to our neighbors, we’re also reinforcing the efforts of Montgomery residents, who support the arts, veterans and schools, care about their neighbors and ‘think local.’ Employees who are our neighbors are more likely to experience a greater sense of being part of Montgomery Place, an essential factor for delivering excellent service and care.”
Montgomery Place is home to 200 older adults and employs 170 full and part-time staff members. According to Rurka, the life plan community expects to hire as many as 15 new employees for housekeeping, laundry personnel, janitorial staff, as well as certified nursing assistants, kitchen utility workers, dishwashers, wait staff and maintenance personnel.
LifeCare@HOME, an in-home senior care program headquartered at Montgomery Place, expects to hire an additional 10 employees, Rurka said.
“Our goal is for our neighbors to reap the rewards of employment close to home and feel more job satisfaction by serving Montgomery Place residents,” Rurka said. “We realize a 15-minute walk or short commute by bus is far better than hours spent on mass transit or on a highway.”