Senior living companies across the country have begun using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to fill workforce vacancies with employees who have been laid off from other sectors. Top candidates include displaced hotel, restaurant and retail workers. 

Brookdale Senior Living, which operates 743 senior living communities in 45 states, announced Wednesday that it is actively recruiting for more than 4,500 positions. The company said it is looking to hire registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurses assistants and other caregivers, and also had positions available in housekeeping, dining, maintenance and in its newly created role of room service attendant.

“While these positions may initially be seen as a temporary solution by individuals, our hope is that these new associates will find purpose and meaning in a career with Brookdale and awareness that this is a great opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Lucy Leeming, Brookdale’s senior vice president of talent management.

Last week, California-based Integral Senior Living and Solstice Senior Living announced a similar hiring initiative and are looking to fill more than 300 vacant positions in their communities. Among the most sought after employees: housekeepers, chefs, cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, activities and building services. Avamere, Brightview Senior Living, Diakonos Group, Five Star Senior Living, Holiday Retirement and Senior Lifestyle are among other companies that have announced employment opportunities for those out of work as a result of the pandemic.

“We know that there are a lot of displaced workers out there right now, and we want to do our part to help by offering employment opportunities to those who have lost their jobs,” said Collette Gray, president and CEO of ISL and Solstice.