The local Job Fair, held Thursday at the Best Western Courtyard, attracted about 300 job-seekers and 24 local businesses, and was called a success by all who attended.
"We received 50 applications in the first half-hour," said Tammy Cloninger from Great Bend Regional Hospital. "There’s a lot of good people here." One applicant had already returned her job application.
In its fifth year, most of the companies were looking for employees, while others wanted to offer awareness of their business. Great Bend Industries currently has no job openings, but employs 60 people.
"We want to make people aware of who we are," said Terry West of GBI. "Not a lot of people know what we do." GBI makes hydraulic cylinders used in heavy equipment.
Julita Biles was at the event searching for a job. "I think this is great," she said. "It gives you an opportunity to see what’s available. Some companies, you don’t know what they do."
KansasWorks, Barton Community College Career Center and Central Kansas Educational Opportunities Center and the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce all offered assistance with resumes and other job search skills.
"We want to help out the community," said Amanda Brack, one of the event organizers. She also works at the BCC Career Center. "It’s a good connection for our students."
The list of employers included Allied Cementing Company LLC, Barton Community College, BMI, Central Kansas Education Opportunity Center, Central Kansas Jobs, Champion SG Concepts Inc., CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Doonan Peterbilt/GMC of Great Bend, GBI, GBRH, Kansas State University-distance education, KansasWorks, Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, Midland Railroad Hotel LLC, Mosaic, National Electronics Warranty Inc., Reliv International, Rosewood Services Inc., Saint Francis Community Services, Sunflower Diversified Services, The Fuller Brush Company, The Southard Corporation, and Waddell & Reed Financial Planning.