Job Fair brings together potential jobs and people | New
CLARION – Usually going to the Clarion Mall means watching a movie, grabbing a bite to eat, getting a manicure, or doing business with the Department of Motor Vehicles. On May 26, at least 16 people went to the mall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. looking for jobs or other opportunities offered by more than 25 entities participating in the job and education fair. of the Clarion Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACBI).
“I am the retired army. I’m just trying to find a job to save myself some extra money. I heard about it (the job fair) this morning, so I thought I would stop by to see what kind of things they had to offer, ”said Ken Reynolds, of Leeper.
Wednesday’s career fair was the second such event hosted by the CACBI at Clarion Mall in the past four weeks. Almost 70 job seekers came on April 28 to speak or apply for a job with some of the 48 companies represented.
“One of the things, talking with them (the participating companies), was a request for an evening job fair to attract those who work elsewhere (during the day) or who are looking for a part-time job. We wanted to do this soon because we know that there are companies that are in desperate need of employees. You see it everywhere, ”said Tracy Becker, Executive Director of the Chamber.
“You very rarely find a company that is not looking for an employee. Almost every business I’ve spoken to, be it banks, restaurants, bars, retail, manufacturing, are all hiring. I mean, everyone’s hiring.
Recognizing the wide range of job opportunities, Becker said, “We encourage everyone to talk to different companies, to explore. If you’ve ever thought about going into a business but don’t know what it really is, explore and talk to the person here.
“If you want to get into the healthcare industry or if you want to get into the retail business. I have a few lumber companies, I have manufacturers. Here is the opportunity to explore. “
A shortage of employees, exacerbated by the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, was a theme echoed by many businessmen in attendance.
“We really need pilots, which has probably been true for a few years. There has been an industry-wide shortage of drivers. We’ve seen even fewer applications since COVID than we normally would, ”said Jenna McIntyre, who was recruiting for McCauley Trucking and Warehousing in Brookville.
“The past month has not been very good. We have seen a decrease of about 75% in the number of applicants. This month has picked up a bit. We’re just struggling to bring people in for interviews, ”said Mandy Nugent, WRC Senior Services representative, based in Brookville.
The scarcity of potential employees currently in the market is particularly frustrating for those who see an increase in business. “It’s just awful. We’re not even driving at full speed. The lumber business is really good right now and we can’t even run at full capacity because we can’t find guys, ”said Dennis Hickman, owner of Hickman Lumber and Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring in Emlenton, Pa. .
“We have a lot of openings right now, more than before COVID. We hope that at least a few candidates that we can contact after this (the job fair), that we can call and hopefully request an interview and find a job, ”said Lakyn Braumagin, from Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) of Shippenville.
Michael Greenawalt, a self-proclaimed Clarion worker, was one of the attendees who stopped by the ADS booth to speak with Braumagin and his partner Ken Curfman.
“I’m looking for a new job, I’m ready to do just about anything,” Greenawalt said. “Because of the virus, it was a little difficult (finding work), but now that things are starting to open up, it is getting easier.”
As the region begins to turn into a pandemic and unemployment eligibility requirements in the state begin to change, many employers look forward to filling the vacancies.
Laurie Ditz, representing fiberboard manufacturer Clarion KronoSpan, said, “I really hope we see an increase in the number of applicants.”
“We would really love to have great people who are willing to dedicate the time and be part of a team,” said Missy Call, a fellow KronoSpan recruiter at Ditz.
McIntyre is equally optimistic and says, “It would be helpful to see more applications so that we can reach out and recruit. Hope this helps (stricter unemployment requirements). “
“When you go to these companies, they are in trouble,” Becker said. “Are the businesses going to shut down completely and then everyone will be ‘fine, there’s nowhere to go shopping, there’s nowhere to eat.’ What will happen to our businesses?
“I want to open businesses. I want to grow up. We all have to do this together. “