Coronavirus Response: Critical Workforce Connectors

ASA and RILA joined forces to help retail businesses that provide essential services—like pharmacies and grocery stores—fill immediate job openings when COVID-19 hit.

Coronavirus Response • American Staffing Association and Retail Industry Leaders Association

When COVID-19 hit, retail businesses that provide critical services—like grocery stores and pharmacies—needed to fill job openings immediately to meet demand. The American Staffing Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association joined forces to help retailers fill high-demand roles like warehouse workers, cashiers, forklift operators, delivery drivers, and store clerks for stocking, packing, and shipping.

ASA provided an online directory to connect RILA member retailers to ASA member staffing agencies that can marshal needed workers—including those displaced when nonessential businesses closed.

“It was a germ of an idea between RILA and ASA: What if we connected our members with your members?” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and CEO. “It’s deploying essential services workers at a time when America is learning just how dependent we are upon essential services to keep the fabric of society intact.”

“Finding talent to address unprecedented demand for essential goods during this time of crisis is a top priority for select retailers,” said RILA president Brian Dodge in a statement. “Staffing agencies are perfectly positioned to deploy temporary workers that have been displaced due to COVID-19.”

As this collaboration has filled essential roles, ASA has also fielded requests from other industry groups, corporations, and state and local governments that need essential workers during the pandemic.

“This relationship that ASA and RILA have together really exemplifies the power of associations representing big sectors of our society,” Wahlquist says.

(FG Trade/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Allison Torres Burtka

By Allison Torres Burtka

Allison Torres Burtka, a longtime association journalist, is a freelance writer and editor in West Bloomfield, Michigan. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!