CADILLAC — Group Beneteau has never been busier, with boat orders coming in from all over North America.

Kelly Cater, Group Beneteau’s North American director of human resources, said since the beginning of the pandemic, sales have exploded as people look to get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors in a way that also allows them to social distance.

Even with lingering tariff complications that have slowed things down in their European markets, Cater said their dealers are seeing more customer traffic right now than they’ve ever experienced.

In particular, Cater said their Four Winns H4 model, which was introduced over the summer, have been flying off the shelves over the last several weeks.

There’s lots of boats to be made but there is one major problem: they don’t have enough workers to make them.

At the Cadillac plant, Cater said they have a 12-month backlog of orders largely as a result of workforce shortages.

While it was challenging keeping people on staff even before the pandemic, Cater said that period is a cakewalk compared to right now.

With so many orders coming in, Cater said they’d love to be able expand their production ability. To do this, however, they’ll need more workers.

Cater said in an ideal world, she would love to hire about 80 more people to work at the Cadillac plant, although they’ll be looking at the more realistic goal of 40 new hires during a job fair this weekend.

A variety of full and part-time positions are available, including welders, carpenters, fiber glass repair specialists, engineers and accountants, to name a few.

With federal unemployment benefits expiring, Cater said they’re already starting to see larger numbers of applications being submitted; they’re hoping this trend will continue.

In addition to competitive pay and benefits, Cater said Group Beneteau also offers monthly incentives, flexible scheduling and a boat use program for all employees.

Cater said Group Beneteau holds job fairs throughout the year to give prospective employees a chance to tour the plant and get an idea what they’d be doing if hired.

The job fair on Saturday will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Group Beneteau Cruiser Plant, located at 609 W. 13th St.

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