Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 16, 2018

FEDA holds job fair

By Jon Gilrain, Ledger correspondent | May 14, 2018
Courtesy of: NIKKI SOBASKI Employees of Agri-Industrial Plastics welcome visitors to Thursday's job fair in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, sponsored by Fairfield Economic Development Association.

The Fairfield Arts and Convention Center hosted a local job fair Thursday. The event, co-sponsored and organized by Fairfield Economic Development Association and IowaWORKS featured many area employers with an abundance of job and career opportunities.

Job seekers connected with employers across a variety of industries and job types. Many local businesses are experiencing strong growth and are eager to bring on new hires. Openings include full and part-time, seasonal and apprenticeships with positions for every level of experience.

Local manufacturer Agri-Industrial Plastics is hiring machine-operators and makers of traffic control and crash attenuation products. TrafFix Devices has manufacturing jobs available as well.

“Business is really good. There’s a lot of road work and highway work and we’re waiting for [President Donald] Trump’s infrastructure initiative to really make it go. Also, we’ve got a lot of new products and it’s going pretty good,” said TrafFix general manager Morris Havens.

Local employer Cambridge Investment Research was present with over two dozen financial industry positions to fill. Iowa Wind and Solar is looking for sales and account manager positions as well as solar ambassadors and Walker Group is looking to train insurance adjusters.

Fairfield Community School District is looking to fill positions for teacher associates and substitute teachers and the Fairfield Public Library has a front-desk position available which they intend to fill by May 28.

Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) has over a dozen jobs available with some non-medical positions and provides tuition assistance after one year of full-time employment to help advance careers.

“There is opportunity. There’s a lot of certified positions, but not all. If you want to help people and be involved in healthcare there are other opportunities as well. Housekeeping for example is a crucial position in our organization because they affect sterilization,” said JCHC Human Resources manager Sarah Beasley.

Temporary job service agencies provide another route for job seekers that want flexibility or to try different positions before committing to something. Temp Associates representative Sherry Savely pointed to numerous employers at the event that she works with in the Fairfield area.

“I always enjoy coming to the Fairfield events because this is where we are. We also staff in Sigourney, Bonaparte and Keosauqua so we’re spread out, but our hub is right here. There are more jobs than I have people to fill them. The unemployment rate is so low right now,” Savely said.

Eighteen-year-old job fair attendee Freya Gilrain enjoyed seeing so many employers in the same space and interested in talking with her. This was her first job fair and she was glad she came.

“I’ve been lucky that I was able to get occasional part-time temp work through word of mouth. I’m interested in a temp service because I’d like more of that kind of work,” she said.

Event organizer and FEDA executive director Josh Laraby pointed to recent unemployment statistics to underscore the tight job pool that local employers face. With the March 2018 national unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, Iowa does even better at 3.0 percent and Jefferson County besting even that with only 2.6 percent jobless, down from 3.2 percent in the previous month.

Laraby seemed pleased with the broad range of employers including some of Jefferson County’s largest that were represented at the fair and the turnout of job seekers as well.

“Every sector is represented here, finance, healthcare retail, manufacturing and general labor positions, construction, temp positions, so everybody. Looking at the attendance numbers, about 60% of the unemployed in Jefferson County attended the Job Fair,” said Laraby.

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