Working Iowa: Hotel at Kirkwood Center hiring for multiple full-time, part-time positions

The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids says it's seeing a difference in business trends due to the pandemic, and it's leading to open jobs.
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 7:34 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Hotel at Kirkwood Center says it’s seeing a difference in business trends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s leading to several open full-time and part-time positions.

Maddie Newhouse is a banquet captain at the hotel. Her job is to make to sure conference rooms are ready to go for business meetings and other groups.

“I’m typically here at six o’clock in the morning and helped make sure that all everyone’s coffee is ready, and the room is beautiful to start the day,” she said.

She says some days get pretty busy, especially since there’s only one other captain.

“We’re kind of running all over the place, and just trying to make sure that everything is taken care of to really help make sure that our clients have really successful and beautiful events,” Newhouse said.

Banquet captains are one of many positions the hotel is trying to fill. General manager Jackie Bohr said the hotel, overall, is seeing a change in business trends.

“Our business travelers, were planning to return to work in the office after Labor Day, and then the Delta variant hit,” said Jackie Bohr, general manager. “So the bottom kind of fell out of that. So everybody is still working from home, planning to return to work in the office after the first of the year. So I think our uptick in our corporate business during the week is those people that need to meet and are unable to do that in their offices. So we’re seeing that and then the holiday parties that we would typically have in December have moved to January after their offices are reopened.”

That’s fueling the need to hire more people--55 positions need to be filled. Several positions are open in the kitchen, including cooks, dishwashers and servers. The hotel is the only teaching hotel in Iowa, making it a great place for new employees to learn.

“So our hospitality arts and culinary arts programs are two-year programs at Kirkwood,” Bohr said. “All the classes are held in the back half of the hotel, and our students complete clinical hours here. So hiring our talent is extremely important because they are mentoring, the hoteliers for the future.”

Training can look different depending on the position.

“We partner a new employee with either an experienced employee that is currently on payroll or the manager will actually do the one-on-one training without the employees,” Bohr said.

You don’t have to attend Kirkwood Community College to work here, but you’ll get the same benefits as college employees. That includes free tuition and discounted rates for spouses and dependents.

Maddie Newhouse says successful employees have a willingness to learn and a desire to help people.

“For myself, and for many, many other of the servers that I’ve worked with, we’re really happy when we’re able to have an event that goes smoothly,” Newhouse said. “Or, if there are hiccups, we’re able to solve them really quickly and right away.”

Whether you want to take classes or grow within the company, the opportunities of where you could go are endless. That’s something Newhouse understands firsthand.

“I know multiple people who have started out either as servers or on our setup crew and are now in supervisory roles,” she said. “We’re in management roles, and we have even managers that are in sales who will come and help us run events to when we need the staffing coverage. They just jump into the roles right away.”

For more details about working at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center, click or tap here.

Copyright 2021 KCRG. All rights reserved.