New Charlotte hotel still looking for employees as number of unemployment claims drops

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 9:31 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Jenny Gross, a recent graduate from Florida State University, did not plan on working in Charlotte. Gross, a hospitality management major, said she planned to take a job in Austin, Texas after receiving her diploma, but the COVID-19 pandemic threw her plans into flux.

“Unfortunately, COVID kind of changed my original plans,” explained Gross in an interview with WBTV Thursday night. “You know, when you first lose your job when you’re 22, that’s not the most exciting news to get.”

Gross said she ultimate graduated from college and was left without a job because of the pandemic.

“The level of panic was definitely high. We didn’t know what to expect. Everyone said, ‘oh it will be two weeks, it will be a month’ and it ended up being obviously much longer than that,” said Gross.

She said she spent the next year working toward a master’s degree and keeping in touch with David Malmberg, the general manager of the new JW Marriott hotel being built in uptown Charlotte. Malmberg recently offered Gross a job; she is now working as a sales coordinator for the hotel.

“Yeah, I’m working a year later than I thought I would be, it’s all good, you know. What are you going to do? Everyone had to kind of adjust their plans,” said Gross.

The job offer is good for Gross and for Malmberg. The GM said he is still trying to fill more than 150 positions at the JW Marriott and the hotel is scheduled to open in July.

“That ball’s moving down the field awfully quickly and we know we’re going to get to the goal line,” said an enthusiastic Malmberg.

The United States Department of Labor announced Thursday that the number of people filing for unemployment dropped to the lowest point since March 14, 2020. Around 385,000 people filed for unemployment aid last week, 20,000 fewer than the week prior, according to the Labor Department.

Malmberg welcomes the job market recovery.

“I think we’re really gonna see people wanting to get started right now before any of the stimulus ends or is cut short. People are gonna want to have a job and have a seat at the table before those jobs get taken up,” said the hotel general manager.

He said he’s still looking for employees to fill all sorts of roles at the hotel. Anyone interested in applying for a job with JW Marriott Charlotte can visit

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