We keep hearing the same thing, over and over, when it comes to Lima’s job market.
“There are jobs out there.”
“Good paying jobs.”
“It’s a job-seeker’s market … with he or she calling the shots.”
I get it.
But after reading the story in Friday’s newspaper about the “hiring event” held by the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center at the Bradfield Community Center, I couldn’t help but wonder where were the applicants. What is “he or she” thinking?
Only 30 people showed up for a chance to work at one of Lima’s legendary manufacturers. This is the tank plant, operated by General Dynamics, a proud and unique manufacturer that produces the M1-A1 tank and other military vehicles.
It is offering $19 an hour to entry-level assemblers. Health benefits are paid in full. It even provides health insurance for pets.
Teenagers right out of high school are urged to apply.
And only 30 people showed for the “hiring event.”
Those two words speak volumes about what’s happening in today’s labor market.
Since when does a company like General Dynamics need to set up “hiring events” to fill job openings. But as someone told me, “If you think starting at $19 an hour is good, I can get $23 an hour from Crown Equipment.” Or another way to put it, for every good job out there, you can always find one better.
Still, only 30 people getting out of bed to show up for the JSMC “hiring event?”
That actually isn’t a bad turnout for a “hiring event” like this one, I was dumb-founded to learn. And in fairness, larger numbers of applicants — some reported to be as many as 60 to 80 — have turned out at “hiring events” held at the Lima office of Ohio Means Jobs.
Credit is due to General Dynamics for holding “hiring events” across the city. It shows a commitment to being an equal opportunity employer. The tank plant is seeking to hire 390 additional employees, bringing its workforce to 970 by year’s end. Welders and assemblers are in big demand, but engineers and supervisors are also being sought.
So why do we continue to hear about the problems employers have in finding workers? You could fill another page dissecting that one. Suffice to say, too many job candidates cannot pass a drug test. Some folks also lack a good work history or show up for an interview dressed like a slob. (The latter group really needs to ask themselves, “Would I hire someone dressed like me?”)
But it goes beyond that.
The tank plant is known for having large swings in employment based on the contracts it has for supplying military vehicles. People who have stable jobs as welders will tell you they would have to think twice about working at the JSMC, even though the pay and benefits may be better. The fallacy with that thinking is that no job is really stable anymore.
In this search for employees, JSMC also has brought a problem onto itself. It has been slow to hire. People who interviewed in November for jobs have gone months without hearing about their status. Some have found work elsewhere.
Yes, there are jobs out there.
Good paying jobs, too.
And your chances of landing one are good if you’re persistent and have a strong work ethic.
It maybe worth your time to check out a “hiring event.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A team effort ends with a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: To kindergarten student Mason Jackson, eighth-grader Lauren Cunningham and Bath School Superintendent Rich Dackin. They walked together Friday during the school’s annual Relay for Life campaign to show no one fighting cancer has to walk alone.
Rose: A cop on the rooftop of a doughnut shop? You bet! Lima Police Officer Chad Kunkleman stood on the rooftop of Dunkin’ Donuts on Friday trying to raise money for Special Olympics. It was part of Lima’s “Cop on a Rooftop” campaign.
Rose: To Mary and Morris Lehman, of Cridersville, who will celebrate 70 years of marriage on Tuesday.
Rose: To Bob Fricke, general manager of the Allen County Fair. He landed country music star Kane Brown as the headline act for this summer’s fair.
Rose: To Abe Ambroza, chief executive officer for the Civic Center. Among the events for the 2019-20 season are the Broadway show “Waitress.”
Rose: To Jack Somerville, of Lima. He’ll be honored as a charter member when the Lima Exchange Club holds its 60th anniversary celebration on Thursday.
Thorn: When Demetrius Williams, 26, of Lima tried to walk away from an argument he was having with Shalitta Cole, Lima police said the 42-year-old woman got in her car and ran into him.
Thorn: And the rains continue. Accuweather reports Lima received 1.7 inches of rain between 5 p.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. Friday, besting a record of 1.35 inches for May 17 that was set back in 1943.
PARTING SHOT: Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.