August 2, 2021
Business

Yellowstone National Park and gateway town businesses struggle under labor shortage | Business

For Amber Clifton, the pandemic was an opportunity to reevaluate her career.

She had been working for several years as a chef de cuisine at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, living in employer-provided housing.

“I applied to a company to do wildland EMT work and they asked me if I wanted to do COVID stuff,” Clifton said. “Hospitality jobs were drying up, so I said ‘sure.’”

Clifton, 33, got her EMT certificate prior to the pandemic and worked as a volunteer ski patrol for Big Sky Resort. Once the pandemic hit, her volunteer work turned into a backup plan.

But as the pandemic waned and restaurants began to seek workers again, Clifton was reticent to return.

“I went to school (to be a chef) when I was really young and very passionate about it, but I…

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