SIDNEY — Hundreds of people spent Thursday afternoon visiting booth displays at the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase, learning about area businesses or hoping to find a job.
Mandy Morrow and Sarah Corner, both of Sidney, were seeking new jobs.
Morrow said there was a “lot of opportunity” at the job fair. It was her first time at the expo, and she thought it was “amazing.”
“It’s amazing that I get an opportunity to explore my options to find a new job. Instead of having to do the same (current job) day after day, year after year,” Corner said, enthusiastically. “I’m ready for a new job.”
Morrow said she wasn’t looking for any “particular” kind of job but was at the expo “looking to change jobs.”
“I think it’s pretty exciting. It’s my first time here. There are all kinds of companies here I have never even heard of,” Morrow said.
Morrow was one of many who attended the chamber’s second job fair, in conjunction with the Business Expo at Sidney Middle School.
Jeff Raible, chamber president, said he “has been very encouraged and impressed” by what he was seeing early into the evening.
“I’ve been very impressed with the number of people walking around carrying portfolios and interacting with the booth attendants and asking them about the jobs available,” Raible said. “As challenging as it is right now for employers to identify candidates to fill their vacant positions, we’re thrilled if we can help contribute to their success in filling some of those open spots.”
Fifty of the 91 exhibitors were displaying “help wanted” signs at their booths on Thursday, along with available applications and information about how to apply online.
One of the main goals of the job fair component, Raible said, was to “help better familiarize the general public with the businesses and organizations operating in Shelby County … and connect job seekers with employers to their mutual benefit.”
“Wilson Health is always growing and we are always hiring,” said Stacey Grogean, business health specialist for occupational health at Wilson Health. “It is important for Wilson Health to be here, because we are an advocate for the community. We are here not just for those who are ill, but also to promote health and preventative care.”
Educators also attended Thursday’s event. On the other side of the middle school gym, the Adult Division of the Upper Valley Career Center offered information on short term certification programs that train people seeking an entirely new career or apprenticeship programs for those already in their desired fields. The programs typically lasts nine months to a year.
“Our apprenticeship is for those who need more training on the job. (Programs) can go up to four years. They don’t have to go (to school) full-time,” said Industry/Trades Coordinator Julie Millhouse. “It is skill enhancement for some that already know something but not everything.”
The city of Sidney was also at the expo to promote services available, such as the Shelby Public Transit and city parks, as well as job opportunities.
“All of our jobs are also always posted online, and not all positions need a four-year degree,” Human Resources Assistant Kelly Holthaus said. “We will help you obtain the certifications and licenses needed.”
Andrew Schmidt, construction management intern at Area Energy and Electric Inc., said they are seeking people from a broad spectrum of trades, from electricians to plumbers to welders. They have an apprenticeship program available, he said, for those who have gone to schools such as Upper Valley Career Center or Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.
“We also hire a lot of military veterans who came out (of the military) and want to go back to their fields,” Schmidt said.
Skip Murray, sales manager of Shaffer Metal Fabrication, said they desperately need machine operators and welders. He said he was there to showcase their product and find additional help. First- and second-shift job seekers with skill levels from across the “gamut” should go online to apply, Murray said.
Raible said he was pleased with the early turnout of Thursday’s Expo: “At least early on, one hour into the expo, we are very encouraged by what we have seen thus far in accomplishing our goals.”
The 2017 Chamber Expo was sponsored by Honda of America, Wilson Health, Ruese Insurance Agency, NKTelco, Faulkner, Garmhausen, Keister & Shenk LPA, Plastipak Packaging, Sidney Daily News, Area Energy & Electric, Edison Community College and CareWorksComp.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.