For the seventh year in a row, local job seekers were given a unique opportunity to network with area employers at the community Job Fest event held May 9th at the Best Western courtyard in Great Bend.
“Hosting this annual event is important for our community, because it benefits businesses and individuals alike,” says 2013 Job Fest committee chair Rachel Mawhirter. “The employers save time and money by staying local to fill their jobs, and the job seekers get an opportunity to shop for a new career.”
Over two dozen booths were set up at the event, with the majority looking to fill full or part-time positions. “This event has fluctuated from year to year, based on the state of the economy at the time of the event. Some years, we struggle to find employers to exhibit and then years like this, we sell out weeks in advance,” Mawhirter says. “The surge of employers trying to find qualified workers is a sign that the local economy is turning around.”
From a survey filled out by job seekers at the event, the planning committee learned lots of valuable information. Over 90 people at the event reported that they were currently unemployed. Dozens of people were connected with training resources, help sprucing up their resume, and follow-up job search assistance after the event. Of the 26 employers with available positions, it was reported that over a 20 interviews were set up, and a half dozen job offers made to applicants who attended Job Fest. Some employers weren’t ready to report on their results, as they were still interviewing.
“This is why our committee works so diligently to organize this community event,” Mawhirter says. “If even a couple people found jobs because of the event, it’d be worth it. To know that so many were impacted by the networking opportunities we provided to them, it energizes us to do it all over again next year.”
CPI Qualified Plan Consultants sponsored a door prize drawing for a brand new laptop computer, and Hutchinson resident Kayla Kaiser was randomly selected as the winner.
Anyone looking for work that was unable to attend the JobFest event is encouraged to seek out local resources such as the KansasWORKS office. Job listings can also be found at www.centralkansasjobs.com, www.gbtribune.com, or www.greatbendpost.com. For more information, call 620-793-5445.