LIMA — Cara Eckman, of Lima, was one of 766 people checking out the job fair at the Allen County Fairgrounds on Saturday.
The job fair, which was part of MakerFest, set a new attendance record with a 53% increase over last year’s event at the Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
Eckman is looking to branch out and try something a bit different.
“I’ve been mostly (in) manufacturing throughout my working life, so probably gonna stick to that,” said Eckman. “I would like to try something different than automotive.”
The event brought together almost 100 employers looking to fill existing and future job openings.
“I think it’s awesome because you get to at least talk to people that actually work in the field and then you can see if it like OK, that sounds interesting to me,” she said.
The event is produced by Greater Lima Region Inc. and Ohio Means Jobs.
“The strategy here is to bring job seekers together with job providers,” said Doug Olsson, president and CEO of Greater Lima Region Inc.
“I think the employers are very happy with the ability to integrate job seekers in the community. It’s a tight job market out there, right. So, employers have a tough time finding qualified candidates in many cases. Events like this are really helpful and I’m excited about the turnout today,” said Olsson.
The diversity of what is made in the Lima region is pretty impressive.
“This region has some really amazing employers. If you look around here, and you look at the things manufactured in this region — from tires to tanks to mashed potatoes — it’s really incredible. There’s just a wide diversity of employers here and now’s a great time for somebody looking for a job,” said Olsson.
There were plenty of jobs for people to consider on Saturday.
“We have around 1,500 opens jobs that we’re aware of on Ohio Means Jobs and only about 25% of those are entry-level, everything else is up over $30,000 or more (in pay) a year,” said Joe Patton, director of Ohio Means Jobs, Allen County. “The main thing is you need the right skills for the position. A lot of these employers here are willing to train you. I think right now the job market in Allen County is definitely an employee’s market so we’re happy to have a lot of people out here checking out what’s available.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.