Despite a touch of nippy November weather, a strong and steady flow of job seekers attended the fall job fair held Wednesday at the Centene Center in Farmington.
Offered twice a year since November 2010, Wednesday’s job fair marked the ninth time it’s been held and, once again, it was sponsored by ODACS Inc. and presented by the Daily Journal, J98 and Monster.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with local companies looking for quality employees.
Businesses participating in Wednesday’s fair included Lindenwood University, Mineral Area College, Farmington Children’s Home, Accent Marketing, Southern Missouri Truck Driving School, Inc., Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, Parkland Health Center, Faith Foundation Children’s Home, Life Employment Solutions, Missouri National Guard, Missouri Department of Corrections, Mineral Area CPRC, Talent Force, Robinson Construction, Lee Mechanical, St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program, U.S. Navy, WIS International, Purcell Tire, Valley Minerals, Valley Springs Youth Ranch, Alternative Opportunities, Kelly Services/TG Mo, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Ellis Battery, Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center and Mineral Area College Truck Driver Training.
As in the past, staff from the Missouri Career Center in Park Hills were on hand to assist job seekers in completing online applications, improving their resumes, while also offering some helpful job hunting hints.
MCC’s Sharrie Berowski said, “We’re glad to have been here at the job fair today. I think we’ve helped some of the people in ways that will help them find a job.”
Every person attending Wednesday’s job fair had their own reason for being there.
“I’ve had a job, but I’m looking for a different one. I’m starting school at MAC in January and I’m wanting something to bring in some money while I’m going,” said Kyle Strickland of Farmington.
Attending her first job fair, Danielle Jendron of Farmington said, “I’m trying to find some clerical, office positions and this has been awesome. It’s a really good setup. There’s a lot of area to cover and a lot of people to talk to.”
Diane Linnenbringer said she was attending the job fair in hopes of finding something that was “a little bit better” than her current job.
“I’m working, but I could use more hours than what I’m getting right now,” she said. “I believe the job fair is a good thing because it gives people the opportunity to meet employers face-to-face and for the employers to meet the people out there who are needing jobs.”
Job seekers weren’t the only ones glad to be at the job fair. The employers said they were happy to be a part of something where they can find qualified candidates for their companies.
Dwayne Ellis, of Ellis Battery, said, “This is our company’s first time to be at the job fair. This is something we got through advertising and we decided this would be a good moment in time to aggressively go after a proactive hiring process. I’m happy with the crowd of people here today and it just keeps getting busier. We’re only a little over an hour into this and I talked to a lot of people I liked really well.”
Returning for his second year at the job fair, Dale Clarke of Coca Cola Refreshments said, “We attended our first job fair earlier this year. It’s an advantage to see good people in the market and to get to speak to everyone. We want to get an idea of what their wants and needs are as far as jobs and career opportunities. I think we’ve made some good contacts so far this morning.”
Laura Maize of the Daily Journal, who has coordinated the biannual job fair since its start in 2010, says the reason for the newspaper’s participation in the event remains the same as it was in the beginning.
“We do this because we know people are out of work and we know employers are hiring, so, we want to put them together and help them make that match,” she said. “ODACS Inc. in Park Hills is the event’s sponsor and has been with us since the beginning. Later, we were contacted by KREI/KTJJ who asked if they could get involved with us. Anything that we can do to help the community, we’re all for it.”
Maize said she was pleased with the turnout, especially with the coming of cooler weather. She also expressed appreciation for the participating employers.
“The job fair wouldn’t be what it is without them,” she said. “We appreciate every single one of them because they all want to help the people who live in this area.”
“We’re only a little over an hour into this and I talked to a lot of people I liked really well.” — Dwayne Ellis of Ellis Battery
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org