Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center hosts job fair for over 400 positions

dfwnewsa | January 10, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center hosts job fair for over 400 positions

Laura Duran, the city’s human resources benefits, speaks with a job interviewee during the pre-screening process Jan. 10, 2024, at the Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center. (Dang Le | Fort Worth Report)
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Fort Worth resident Jorge Franco stood in the job fair line for a culinary position at Arlington’s Loews Hotel & Convention Center. He didn’t know what to expect for his first job fair. 

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Franco waited in a long line outside the room to check-in. Then, he got a pre-screening interview one-on-one alongside a dozen other candidates simultaneously. Franco passed, then he walked behind a black curtain that divides sections between pre-screening and official interviews with managers, which put him in front of the hotel’s executive chef. 

About an hour and a half later, Franco was the first person at the job fair to get to the last step of the process for a sous chef position, which would put him in charge of the cold food production in the kitchen. 

He was one of hundreds of hopeful applicants who attended the job fair Jan. 10 for 422 full-time opening positions at Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center. It’s a hustle for staff members and managers — old and new — as they’re gearing up to prepare for the Feb. 13 grand opening. 

“We’re overwhelmed. We’re excited. We’re anxious — just a ton of emotions all balled up into one,” said Antoinette Karriem, complex director of human resources. “But we’re really looking forward to opening day.”

Multiple candidates get interviewed simultaneously during the pre-screening process Jan. 10, 2024, at the Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center. (Dang Le | Fort Worth Report)

Behind-the-scenes

Nestled between Globe Life Field and AT&T Stadium in Arlington’s Entertainment District, the $550 million Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center will feature 888 guest rooms and suites and 260,000 square feet of indoor meeting space.

The hotel already had over 80 staff members before the Jan. 8-10 job fair. 

On the 8th, Loews hired 95. The next day, 73 more came on board. 

Loews will host an orientation in the third week of January, Karriem said. 

The orientation program takes two days, complex managing director Stephen Cummings said. On the first day, trainees learn everything about the hotel — the culture, the company, the location and the offered service. The following day, they hear about what makes the Arlington location unique. 

In the next 30 days, trainees enter an extensive program, where they go through the company’s purpose, ambition and service, Cummings said. 

The training continues after the opening. 

“We offer a variety of classes specific to your role, also a really, really extensive training program in the first 90 days,” he said. 

Candidates get moved to the second round once they have passed the pre-screening interview Jan. 10, 2024, at the Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center. (Dang Le | Fort Worth Report)

The hospitality industry

Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center maintains retention by using the suggestion box and hosting monthly roundtable sessions to communicate with its employees, Karriem said. 

The hospitality industry caught up to its pandemic-induced job losses because of new hotels in the area, experts previously told the Fort Worth Report. By November 2023, the area added 4,300 more jobs in the sector compared to the same month last year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The industry was affected post-COVID, Cummings said, but signs currently show that people are coming back. He believes in Loews’ collaborative process and culture to maintain strong turnover rates. 

Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center will continue hiring after the job fair

The hotel and convention center’s online job portal will remain open after the job fair. Visit here for more details.

Arlington continues to grow

Arlington is home to the 2024 Major League All-Star Game, which is expected to bring $90 million to the city. The National Medal of Honor Museum will also open in the Entertainment District this year. The city is also gearing up for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.  

The meeting space at Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center now will allow the city to host larger convention meetings, said Chad Enloe, senior vice president of sales at Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau. Medium-sized convention groups bring about $1 million to $1.5 million in economic impact for the city. 

Enloe’s job is to proactively convince conventions to pick Arlington over other destinations — such as Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin or even New Orleans, Las Vegas and Orlando, he said. 

See also  Longtime Fort Worth State Board of Education member faces challenger in GOP primary

“With these types of facilities, we’re now in a class that we can compete with those cities much, much more evenly, and in some cases, perhaps with advantages,” Enloe said. 

Mouhssine Benhamacht, executive chef at Loews, speaks with a candidate during the second-round interview Jan. 10, 2024, at Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center. (Dang Le | Fort Worth Report)

Artists like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Metallica had driven double-digit growth in the hotel’s average daily rate outside the football season at AT&T Stadium and the baseball season at Globe Life Field, Cummings said. 

But for people like Franco, facilities like Loews are an opportunity for him to come on board with a hotel with “wonderful reputation,” he said. 

The process has been smooth, he said. Everybody was helpful. Now, he just has to continue filling his info into the hotel’s system. Then, he will get an offer contingent on a background check. 

Franco’s first job fair experience is completed. 

Dang Le is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at dang.le@fortworthreport.org or @DangHLe. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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