tv Nightline ABC July 23, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PDT
♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, help wanted. the tourists have returned. >> this has been by far the busiest summer we ever had. >> but the workers have not. >> we are just facing a worker shortage in every industry. >> employers forced to pick up the slack. businesses struggling to fully open. >> the last two weeks alone i had 16 no-shows to interviews. >> the crowds keep coming. plus, lacking diversity. high-profile tenure disputes on college campuses. >> there is not a respect for what black faculty go through on campus. >> the racism is still at work at each and every one of these institutions. yet there's decent people of all
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have been eager to go on vacations this year. but some businesses which were eager for the crowds are struggling now. we welcome abc's dierdre boat ton "nightline" with this report on the worker shortage. >> reporter: under the morning july sun, on the heels of a worldwide lockdown, millions are flocking to the beach. but with all that pent-up demand, there is a downside. businesses are overwhelmed. >> it's been different. i've seen things i never thought i would see in my life. >> we are facing a worker shortage in every industry. >> you talk to any of the businesses in downtown, at any of the beach areas, they're in the exact same scenario. they don't have the help. >> reporter: benjamin gray has called this stretch along the atlantic home his entire life.
working at the bellmoor inn and spa at rajon ba beach, delaware, the last seven years, nothing compares to the stress he sees this summer. >> we've seen unprecedented occupancy levels. the tourist industry in the past year has skyrocketed. >> what has it been like for you to meet that demand? >> it's now finding the staff to be able to make the beds, to make the drinks, to check people in and out, to make sure that we have enough people to take care of the occupancy levels we're experiencing. >> reporter: the luxury hotel where rooms can go for up to $1,000 a night has been packed. as general manager, benjamin normally oversees three different hotels in the area. but this year, with nowhere near a full staff, he's been forced to wear many hats. monitoring the front desk. checking in guests. checking out guests. stripping beds. vacuuming rooms. even driving the hotel shuttle
to the beach. >> typically for this hotel, we have anywhere from 90 to 100 employees on a regular basis. >> and this summer? >> currently, right now, i have approximately 25 open positions. so we're looking at around 75 associates to get us through the busiest summer that we've ever seen. >> reporter: only halfway through the busy season, benjamin is desperate to fill those empty positions. >> the issue that's happening is that people aren't coming through the door to apply for the jobs or to show up for their interview. >> people, they make an interview appointment, then don't show up? >> correct. last week alone i had 16 no-shows. >> out of how many appointments? >> 30 appointments, we had 10 show up. >> that's crazy. >> that is. >> reporter: hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that survived the pandemic are now facing a new challenge, struggling to find and hire the employees they need. job openings in the u.s. have soared, with more than 9 million positions available. in places lis like rehobeth bea
the struggle to find workers is everywhere. >> if you drive down coastal highway, the primary highway that will get you to every beach in the state of delaware, everybody that has a marquee will say "now hiring." wages anywhere from $13 to $22 an hour, with also a signing bonus, they're willing to give you $1,000 to come into the door. >> reporter: while some potential workers are juggling child care issues, others remain concerned about covid infection risks. many states, like delaware, are still offering extended punempl the end of august. regardless of the reasons, vacationers in rehoboth beach see something off this year. >> the service has not been that great. we've had to wait a lot. >> you can tell the people working are stretched thin. >> i was looking forward to having lunch at a particular restaurant, and they had a sign on the door that said that they
were closed from monday to thursday because they couldn't staff it during the week. i was a little disappointed with that. >> reporter: employees here are also feeling the pressure. >> last year i was working sections that had maybe four or five tables. now i'm working a section that's got five to eight. and it's not just an outside section, it's outside and inside. >> reporter: even the rehoboth beach patrol has a lifeguard shortage. >> it definitely affects how we spread out our people, where we put people. it also puts a lot more pressure on our first-year rookies coming in, because they have to learn fast. >> reporter: this is the lieutenant's fifth summer as a lifeguard on ss ty' to spread out chairs so each guard has to cover a larger area of the beach. >> we didn't have as many people coming back this year, so this year we did actually have to sit some rookies together. so they had to step up and be able to do what they had to do.
>> this has been by far the busiest summer we ever had. the crowds, the traffic, just way exceeded years past. >> reporter: captain jeff giles says there are fewer full-time guards this year, due in part to fewer applicants. how does that weigh on your shoulders with the responsibility that you have? >> a lot of the staff will be returning back to college, back to school. so it does worry me that we might not have the amount of personnel that we need coming into the end of august. always a concern. >> reporter: just a block in from the beach, in one of the busiest parts of the boardwalk, sits dolles candy land. it's been in tom's family almost 100 years. the third generation maker of sweets heads to his shop at 5:30 in the morning to start pulling that famous saltwater taffy. he used to employ 25 to 30 people. now he makes it alone. are your hours different? >> yeah, much different than they used to be. usually 12 to 15 hours a day.
seven days a week. i used to work maybe somewhere between 9 and 11. i've increased the hours quite a bit. we've got to make the business run, okay? simple as that. >> reporter: tom depends on his family to help run the family business. have my sister-in-law, have my - daughter, and two other workers. >> sounds like it's falling on your shoulders personally? >> you don't have any staff. that's where it's got to fall. >> reporter: two blocks down the boardwalk, you can find funland, where another longtime family-owned business is feeling many of the same stresses. >> we have more people than any of those previous 60 summers. but we just don't quite have the staff to be able to accommodate them. >> reporter: the amusement park usually relies on j-1 visa workers, a program which allows foreign students to come to the u.s. for the summer months to work. >> 2019, we had 37 j-1 visa
students. last year, zero. this year, we have two. unfortunately, by the time things opened up, they weren't allowed to travel, so there are very few j-1 visa students. they're really, really important to help us get through the end of the season where we lose college and high school students back to school. >> reporter: instead, funland alone has stepped up. veronica evans saw a facebook post about employees needed. and answered the call. >> step right up! there's a group called funland employees past and present. one of the family members had posted, hey, alumni, we've been seeing you liking our posts about needing employees, basically, we're going to call you on your bluff. i said, seriously? you'll take a 47-year-old? they said, we're willing to be super flexible. >> all right, guys, here we go! >> i worked here one summer when i was 16. and i absolutely loved it. >> reporter: veronica worked at funland after sophomore year of high school in 1990.ulwell, kin.
>> i worked the rides. i worked the games. i've done the tickets. just kind of whatever they need me to do. >> reporter: along for the ride, and working by her side, her 15-year-old son will. >> it's been really good for both of us, kind of renewing our socialization skills, seeing everybody in a great, positive atmosphere. >> reporter: even though verr veronica was willing to go back, there just aren't enough workers like her. >> as we go through the month of august, we're going to have to selectively close games and rides. because we just won't have a staff to run them. so we certainly will ask our customers to be patient, we will do the best we can. we want to accommodate as many of our customers as possible. but there's a limit to what you can do. >> reporter: that seems to be the mantra here. there is a limit to what a business owner can do. unlike workers, thankfully, optimism for the future is plen >> i think there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
we just have to keep working through it. in the long run, everything will work out. it's just going to be a little bit tougher now. >> our thanks to dierdre. up next, charges of institutional [♪] cooking and eating at home more often means food odors get trapped in your home's fabrics and released back into the air so you smell last night's dinner the next morning. for an easy way to keep your whole home smelling fresh try febreze fabric refresher. febreze's water-based formula deeply penetrates fabrics to eliminate trapped food odors as it dries. spray febreze fabric refresher when you clean up after meals to ensure your entire home smells fresh and clean. try febreze fabric refresher. brand power. helping you buy better. jason, did you know geico could save you hundreds on car insurance and a whole lot more? cool. so what are you waiting for? mckayla maroney to get your frisbee off the roof? i'll get it. ♪ (upbeat music) ♪ ♪ ♪
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[hippo groans melodically] [iguana belts major 3rd] [gator reverb] [splash] [singing indri sings] [elephant trumpets] [buffalo punish timpani] [cassowary crescendo] ♪ [goat does a sick vibrato] ♪ there is a persistent lack of diversity in higher education overall, from tenure to faculty representation. but our own study shows when the faculty is more diverse, students of color have higher graduation rates.
here's abc's deborah roberts. >> i tend to be rather controversial in things. i stand for a lot of issues that cut against the grain. >> reporter: dr. cornell west is unapologetically opinionated. >> do you think we can meet the challenge? >> reporter: a trait he credits for his trailblazing career. >> let us never be afraid in the face of hatred. >> reporter: but now the philosophy professor says it's part of the reason he's leaving his prestigious post at harvard divinity school, recently tweeting his resignation letter after he was denied tenure. you had been tenured before, not only at harvard but other schools. why not this time? >> i was university professor at harvard, university professor at princeton. then they're going to say, we don't really think you can undergo tenure, we can't give you the reasons. i've been a black man in america over 60 years. i know what's going on. it had nothing to do with academics. >> you are saying this isn't
just about race, it could be about politics, activism, all kinds of things? >> absolutely, it's about anti-palestinian sensibility, it's about critiques of wall street. the issues that in some ways could possibly present a challenge. >> tenure exists to protect academic freedom. >> reporter: irene mulvey, president of the association of university professors. her organization helps develop standards and policies for higher education. >> you're not worried about your job security for teaching the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing or somebody doesn't like what you're researching. >> reporter: after the outcry, harvard administrators offered dr. west a five-year contract and a title with a consideration of a future tenure bid. but he declined. in a statement, harvard divinity school thanking dr. west for his enormous contribution to issues of racial justice, saying they'd hoped to retain him on our faculty for many years to come. your departure was devastating
to a number of students. many saying that you were the first black professor they had ever had. did you owe it to some of those students, though, to somehow because of your impact? >> i did. i mean, i stayed to fight. harvard offered me more money. they'd offered me big chairs. and i said, it's not about that. if you can't even undergo a tenure process, you can't negotiate. you can't negotiate respect in that regard. >> reporter: three months after that public tenure dispute, "new york times" magazine journalist nicole henna jones announced she was turning down a night chair position at her alma mater, university of north carolina chapel hill, after it didn't initially offer her tenure for a role that had always come with tenure. >> i think it showed that there is not a respect for what black faculty go through on campus ask, that they need to have the stated and public support and the courage of leadership when our work is challenged. >> reporter: the numbers show across the board, colleges are
suffering from lack of representation. abc news data team analyzed the most recent u.s. department of education reports on more than 4,000 schools, finding that 70% of faculty are white, even though a little more than half the students enrolled are nonwhite. the data also indicating that nonwhite professors are less likely to make tenure. only 10% of all tenured professors are people of color. nicole hanna-jones is now set to be the inaugural night chair in race and journalism at historically black howard university. >> simply resolving my issue doesn't resolve the larger obstacles and discrimination that black faculty, and particularly black women scholars, face all across this country. >> what you can see is a black woman not getting what was given automatically to everyone that came before her. >> reporter: in a statement, the university said it is disappointed that hanna-jones won't be joining the faculty and the school is working toward a
more inclusive and equitable campus. >> higher education is not immune to systemic and institutional racism. faculty of color are always asked to serve on diversity, inclusion, and equity task forces. as a result, when faculty of color come up for tenure, they may have found they didn't have the same amount for research as their white colleagues. >> reporter: that imbalance is a disservice to students. abc's analysis found nonwhite students at colleges with more diverse faculty have higher graduation rates. >> that is the key to success for students. >> reporter: even so, a breakdown of full-time professors finds that black memorandas, black females, and latino males each accounted for 2%, while latina females made up just 1%. a minuscule number with a significant impact. georgetown university senior
yoritza aguilar is the first her family to go to college. her parents, immigrants from central america. she says professors of color have been crucial throughout her education. >> you feel comfortable asking them, hey, could i get an extension? could i get a letter of recommendation? you don't feel a sense of imposter syndrome. with a latino professor or minority professor, it's so much easier to approach them and sort of talk about your upbringing. especially if they have that same shared family experience, culture experience, language experience. my parents worked minimum wage jobs. i've gone to public school my whole life. daughter of immigrants. i'm going to get emotional. i'm sorry. >> if they see faculty that look like them, the message they get is that, i can succeed here. i can succeed in this field. >> reporter: early last year, yoritza was part of a group of student volunteers who helped
the school hire two more latino professors in the history and american studies departments. now she wants to change the school's landscape even more, starting a petition to create a latino studies minor. >> i wanted to see what else students could do. what do we need to build upon? >> no justice, no peace! >> after the murder of george floyd, i think georgetown has been more responsive and more critical about the way they have dealt with diversity. so they recently established a racial justice initiative and hired a new professor of color. but we want to be able to hold georgetown accountable. >> the reality is, there has been great progress, right? >> yes, there has been. >> nonwhite professors are being tenured at higher rates than ever before, would you agree? >> absolutely. why has there been progress? the racism is still at work at each and every one of these institutions. yet there's decent people of all colors. who are willing to fight against it. that's the good news.
>> our thanks to deborah. up next, milwaukee welcomes its bucks. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ finally, the doors that kept us apart can swing open again. the covid-19 vaccines are here. it's up to you. ♪ i've got nothing to eat. nothing. [crying] hold on, i can do something. ♪turning nothing into something♪ ♪i turned nothing into something♪ it's amazing what you can do with nothing, and a little best foods. does scrubbing feel like a workout? scrub less with dawn platinum. it's amazing what you can do with nothing, its superior formula breaks down and removes
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♪ finally tonight, in milwaukee a celebration not seen in 50 years. today, thousands lined the streets to celebrate their champions, including the series mvp, the greek freak, giannis antetokounmpo. that's "nightline" for this evening. catch our full episodes on hulu. we'll see you right back here, same time tomorrow. thanks for the company, america. good night. i'm so glad you're ok, sgt. houston. this is sam with usaa. do you see the tow truck?
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