Some time back the Great Bend City Council was approached by Amanda Brack about donating $1,000 dollars to the Job Fest. I asked at that time, how many employers would be represented and how many job openings would be available and I was told that she did not have the answer to either question.
Consequently, I voted against giving the money for the Job Fest.
At the last city council meeting, on Sept. 9, she came back to report on the Job Fest.
Mrs. Brack told us that 17 employers were represented and that there had been 43 job openings available.
We were told that 205 people came to apply for the 43 jobs and that of those 43, 60 percent were unemployed, 60 percent were from Great Bend and 86 percent were from Barton County.
We were told that seven openings were filled at the Job Fest and that another eight job offers were expected to be made for a total of 15 jobs filled.
Mrs. Brack said that the job fair was a success and that filling 15 jobs was pretty good.
Unless my math is flawed, there were 43 job openings and seven people were hired with the possibility of eight more being hired, as we do not know if they got the jobs, that would leave 28 job openings unfilled and 190 people who did not get hired.
I can’t say that I view this as a success and I am sure the 190 people, 60 percent of them being unemployed and probably trying to feed families, did not see it as a success either.
We probably would have been better served dividing the $1,000 dollars among the 205 people and have given them $4.87 for food, or better yet by donating the money to the food bank.
Imagine 120-plus people did not have a job and could not get hired. I think the business community needs to fund the Job Fest themselves and I will vote against giving city tax dollars to the Job Fest next year.
As always, my door is always open and my number, 620-786-1351, is available for your comments.
I do want to point out that outside of these two meetings I do not know Mrs. Brack, and I am not writing this to belittle her in any way; this is about the Job Fest only.