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Job hunters beat storm to seek work

Second job fair proves successful also

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A job fair was conducted Tuesday afternoon at the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. BELOW: Sandy Lee, left, eligibility/referral specialist for Logan County Department of Job and Family Services, speaks with job hunter Carol Brannon about the department’s WorkPlus program, which is a local one-stop shop for job opportunities. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Kelly Campbell, human resource manager for Mobile Instruments, right, discusses the hiring process with West Mansfield job hunter Paul Schaller.(EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

Despite threatening weather Thursday afternoon, numerous local job hunters and 25 local businesses turned out for the second job fair within the past year.

For Paul Schaller of West Mansfield, whose temporary assignment at Honda Research and Development ended about two weeks ago, the opportunity to meet with multiple employers in one location was welcome.

“I’m just looking for a job,” he said. “I found out about this (Monday) and said, ‘Why not?’ I’m glad they provide something like this.”

Armed with copies of his resumé, Mr. Schaller’s first stop was Mobile Instruments where human resources manager Kelly Campbell discussed the hiring process for the two positions the company seeks to fill.

One of the benefits for companies like Mobile Instruments is a chance to make prospective employees recognize the surgical instrument repair company’s local presence.

“No matter how long we’ve been around, people don’t seem to recognize who we are,” she said. “We’ve been here 35 years and we’re the 20th largest employer; so this is a chance to let people know who we are.”

It was a similar story for Sean Boley of Jackson Center’s Plastipak Packaging.

“It definitely helps,” he said, noting that Plastipak hired five employees during the August job fair. “It’s a good way to get in front of the candidate and let them know who we are. It’s also good to see candidates who want to work and put time in to get a job.”

The event, hosted by Ohio Hi-Point Career Center with support from Logan County Department of Job and Family Services and the Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce, follows on the heels of an August job fair that garnered success.

“August was very successful,” J.J. Martin of Hi-Point said, noting that this job fair was also open to high school students seeking spring or and summer employment.

“Companies are looking at seasonal positions coming open. It allows high school students to get exposed to what could eventually become a career.”

Finding and keeping dependable employees “is the biggest challenge of running a business,” according to Donatos franchisee Jim Snyder, but the August event allowed him to do just that.

“Last time I definitely landed a quality employee, so I am very happy,” he said as a sign listed open assistant manager and kitchen closer positions.

“For people who want to do something, it is an opportunity if they are willing to put their noses to the grindstone. I hope I get a winner; that’s what I’m seeking,” Mr. Snyder said.

Chamber President and CEO Paul Benedetti said he knows of at least 300 local jobs that need to be filled.

“It’s a broad range of positions, not just manufacturing,” he said. “Whether it’s logistics, service or clerical, there is a need.”

Bellefontaine resident Carol Brannon, who is working on a degree in business management, said it is refreshing to see that a variety of jobs are available.

“It’s nice to see so many companies out here and see that jobs are available,” she said. “I think it’s a great event and gives everybody a chance to see what they can do locally.”

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