Improved economy not always helpful in job searching

About 75 employers, from health care to manufacturing, attended one of region’s largest job fairs.
MCT Regional News
Mar 21, 2014

Even with an improved economy, matchmaking between employer and employee remains uneven.

Both sides the coin interacted Thursday at one of the region’s largest job fairs, hosted on the Lima campus by The Ohio State University-Lima and Rhodes State College’s respective career services offices. About 75 employers, from health care to manufacturing, attended the job fair seeking potential employees.

The session was a chance for Lima Campus students and community members to learn about organizations’ part-time, internship, cooperative education and full-time opportunities.

Jimmie Pitney was searching for a health care job. Knowing the strength of the health care industry in the region, he has moved to Lima from Fort Wayne, Ind., seeking better luck in his job search. Pitney is a phlebotomist, but he said he’s open to other health care positions.

Keith Lause was targeting manufacturing employers Thursday. About three months ago, an assignment with a Wapakoneta company ended, and he’s been searching for full-time work since. He has found it, with a plastics manufacturer and will soon start the job, but he’s still keeping his options open.

“I’m looking for anything full-time,” Lause said. “I have more than 20 years of manufacturing experience. I can say I’ve been there and done that.”

One company he talked with was AAP St. Marys Corp., which makes wheels for multiple automakers. The company currently employs about 550 people and makes about 300,000 wheels a month, said Dave Voisard, associate relations specialist.

The company is hiring for maintenance and machining workers, both skilled positions, Voisard said. The company has seen six major expansions but pulled back during the Great Recession. Today, people are buying cars, Voisard said, and they all need wheels.

AAP used the job fair last year to hire several associates, Voisard said, and they wanted to return. Voisard collected resumes throughout the day, and took information from lots of possible employees, including Lause.

Roselawn Manor Administrator Shanna Holland said her business, skilled nursing care, is always in demand no matter the condition of the economy. But market conditions do affect the hiring process, she said. A bad economy can make it more difficult to find qualified employees, because more people, including people who are not qualified, are applying for jobs, she said.

Heather Gatson, from Fort Wayne, Ind., visited the job fair because she wants to move to Lima and find a job she went to school for. A Purdue University graduate, Gatson has been working at General Motors. But she has a degree in media and public communications.

“I want something that aligns with my skills, and allows me to use my brain and critical thinking skills, something that isn’t so physically demanding,” Gatson said.

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By Heather Rutz - The Lima News, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)

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