This story was originally published on July 2, 2021By WCCO-TV Staff

By WCCO-TV Reporter Pafoua Yang

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota State Fair is in need of thousands of workers this summer before the gates open in August.

State Fair vendors including Andy’s Garage say last year’s pandemic has made it tough to get help.

Andy’s Garage serves American and Mexican comfort food. The business first opened at the Midtown Global Market, but has since expanded to other parts of the Twin Cities.

“The service industry is up and down and over the past year it’s been tough for people in the service industry,” said Icarus Chase, owner of Andy’s Garage.

The business is hoping to add five to 10 more people to its team. Chase said he’s offering a few dollars more than the minimum wage but there’s more incentives to joining the team.

“While their start may be at the State Fair, we may have work for them after too. It’s not just the State Fair,” said Chase.

So far, Andy’s Garage has not had any applicants, but Chase said that’s mainly because the word is not out yet.

Fairgoers will find Andy’s Garage located at the Taste of Midtown Global Market booth in the International Bazaar home for the first six days. For the following six days, Los Ocampo will take its place.

Los Ocampo also serves its own version of traditional Mexican dishes. Owner Julian Ocampo said he’s willing to pay workers $15 an hour but will go higher if needed.

Los Ocampo is in need of 12 workers to help out at the State Fair.

“There’s always some fear we’re not going to be able to do it,” said Ocampo. “But I’m confident we’ll have all those people.”

A State Fair spokesperson said departments hiring are sanitation, ticket takers, ticket sellers, retail, food service and park and ride.

While the State Fair needs to hire 2,300 workers, 60-65% of employees usually return. This leaves about 1,000 job openings. The State Fair spokesperson said it’s too soon to tell whether all those jobs will be filled.