Employment rises, workers retrain as pandemic wanes

Apr. 2—Annie Mendez shifted from restauranteur to store owner during the pandemic.

Fifteen days before Christmas, Mendez dropped plans to revive her restaurant and instead opened House of Envy to sell women’s clothes in the Laurel Mall near Hazleton.

“During COVID people aren’t coming out. Money is tight. We are working against all the odds,” said Mendez, who nevertheless believes her new store can grow as the pandemic wanes.

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