The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce held a job fair last week in hopes of helping local businesses find new talent.
At Shadowbrook Resort on Thursday, various companies set up booths to draw in prospective candidates from 2 to 7 p.m., so as to welcome people on different schedules.
“We had a couple companies come to us with needs of staff in quantities, employers that were looking to fill 10, 15, 20 positions at a time,” said Chamber of Commerce President Gina Suydam. “While we have just 15 employers in the room, there’s probably 100 jobs represented.”
The unemployment rate is around three percent in Wyoming County, she added, so it could be a tough market for employers to find people to fill positions. That’s why one of the goals of the job fair was to help people “upgrade their employment.”
“People who might already have a job but might not be happy with their job can come here to the career fair and find a more fruitful position,” Suydam said.
One company represented at the job fair was Milnes, which is looking for construction laborers and carpenters, as well as engineers and CAD workers.
Milnes is an engineering, construction and land surveying company based in Tunkhannock.
“We thought the northeast job fair would be the place to find those types of tradespeople,” said Lexie Langan, a business development leader for Milnes.
“It’s good for brand awareness, community involvement and seeing people that are out there that you wouldn’t normally see that maybe have something that we’re looking for,” she added.
The Red Rock Job Corps Center based in Lopez was also represented, which is run by the Department of Labor and looking to fill some positions.
“We are always looking for students. We are a no-cost education and career technical school for students ages 16-24,” explained Human Resources Specialist Brittany Marbaker. “Students can come there to obtain their high school diploma, their GED, their driver’s license, and they’re able to take up a trade.”
Some of these trades include electrical, plumbing, office administration and autotech. Once completed, students receive a certificate.
“Then we set them up with job placement,” she said.
Brandi Martenas from the Children’s Service Center came to let the public know of openings within the CSC’s Tunkhannock office for therapeutic support staff, a staff liaison position and a caseworker position.
“Most of our positions require a bachelor’s degree in the human services field,” she said. “They’re tough positions to fill.”
Other companies represented at the fair included Kelly Educational Staffing, the U.S. Census Bureau, PTW Energy Services, NEPA Safety Training, Deer Park Lumber, the Gardens at Tunkhannock and more.
This is the first job fair the chamber has held in about three years. In the past, the chamber would hold a job fair at the Wyoming County Fairgrounds that also included an expo for companies to showcase their offerings in addition to advertising for open positions.
“This is solely focused on jobs. So all of the vendors do have positions available,” Suydam said of Thursday’s job fair.
In planning the job fair, Suydam said it was important to highlight a variety of jobs with different qualifications and skill sets.
“I think it’s the diversity of our economy. We as the Chamber of Commerce want to represent all jobs, whether they do require post-secondary education or just a high school diploma,” she said. “We want all people to have the opportunity to be employed.”