HILTON HEAD, SC (WSAV) – Businesses on Hilton Head are looking for ways to attract workers.
Now one group has decided to step up to the plate with a plan of their own.
“This is a great opportunity to show them how important they are to us,” said Cliff McMackin, Director of Resort Development for Sea Pines.
They are the hundreds of food and beverage, maintenance workers, and more that make up the staff of the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. The resort says it has about 85% of its normal staff right now. Other businesses are not as lucky.
“There’s a lot of competition right now,” explains Matt Roher, Director of Sea Pines Food and Beverage. “It’s really how you take care of your people and what kind of culture do you have, training and making sure your people are your best asset.”
That’s why the resort is stepping up its efforts to find and keep workers by building a new 16 unit complex on Target road, just blocks from the beach and work.
“We are literally a stone’s throw, it’s 200 yards outside the gate basically is where we are building all these apartments and it is going to be exclusively for our employees and interns,” said McMackin.
“It’s going to be unlike any other venture you will see coming on the island,” says McMackin. “This is solely for housing demand that we have and lack of inventory. That’s the number one goal.”
A 16 unit building to put as many as 96 workers, families even managers inside these apartments at a market or below market rate they can afford. An investment in the people who make Sea Pines run well every day.
“(makes it easier for) Staff from other parts of the country,” says McMackin. “It gives them confidence as they move to the island that they have someplace to live to decide if they want to move out to something more permanent.”
With the foreign worker visas down to just 25% of normal, the resort says this is the next step to find a way to give local folks a job and an opportunity to build a better life on the island.
“If we could get to the point where other resorts and operations are building houses like this the rising tides will raise all boats,” said Boher. “It will end up attracting more labor, attracting more quality of labor and the competition for the really good people won’t be quite as high and that helps us all.”
The complex, which will also include a clubhouse and sport field, will be done in early 2022.
Sea Pines owns more land in that same area and could add another building if this program is a success.