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Raymond McGowan said he came to a Tuesday job fair in Perrysburg feeling good. He left feeling great.
“There’s a good possibility I might have the opportunity to be working before the week is out,” Mr. McGowan said.
The Toledoan had spent his morning talking with employers and passing out resumes at the 2013 Career Expo at the Holiday Inn French Quarter. He said he has been out of work for some time, but went back to school in an effort to broaden his career options.
He was optimistic Tuesday about his prospects.
“I believe I’ll be getting a call. It was worth my time,” he said.
PHOTO GALLERY: 2013 Career Expo in Perrysburg
Forty-seven employers had representatives at the event, and many were looking to fill positions immediately. Among them were trucking companies, auto parts suppliers, several health care providers, and Hollywood Casino Toledo, which is looking to fill a large number of positions for the first time since it opened.
“We’ve been staffed. We’ve been open a year and we haven’t had the opportunity to get new faces in. But now we’re hiring,” said Tom Genevich, the casino’s food and beverage manager.
Many of the positions are in food and beverage service, though the casino will soon start a new class for blackjack dealers. Other jobs have opened up because of internal promotions, Mr. Genevich said. In all there will be more than 80 positions available.
The company wasn’t taking applications Tuesday, but Mr. Genevich and Human Resources Coordinator Courtney Wagoner were on hand to talk to potential applicants. Both said they were seeing a lot of interest.
People can apply for the jobs online through the casino’s Web site.
Because job seekers weren’t asked to register, it was difficult to estimate the number of people who attended the event. Organizers’ best guess was somewhere between 300 and 500 people. The job fair was sponsored by The Blade and Monster.
Attendance was down from last year, though several employers said Tuesday they were seeing more qualified applicants than they have in previous years. Still, many employers continue to have difficulty finding specific skill sets.
Jennifer Fought, a business development professional with Renhill Staffing Inc. in Perrysburg, said companies are struggling to find people in the skilled trades.
Officials at Kecy Corp. have noticed that. The automotive parts supplier based in Hudson, Mich., has grown considerably over the last year, going from about 40 employees last year to more than 100 now. And they're looking to add more.
Human Resources Manager Nikki Trent said they’re able to be more selective in many cases, looking for people with solid work history and good references. However, when it comes to skilled trades jobs, things get tougher.
Tony Plumb, a supervisor with Kecy Corp., said many of those people left the field with the downturn and haven’t come back. Those who didn’t are generally employed.
Finding employees for lower-skilled, entry-level jobs can be difficult. Some hiring managers and recruiters said Tuesday that many of those who remain unemployed are essentially unemployable, whether it be because they can’t pass a drug test or because they can’t be relied upon to regularly show up for work.
But for the diligent, the job fair can pay off. Lindsay Fuerst said she’ll be moving from Liberty Center, Ohio, to the Toledo area this summer, so she was beginning her job search.
She was encouraged by the number of jobs in the medical field and said she preferred being able to meet in person with company representatives rather than relying on Internet job searching.
“Online I can’t find anything,” she said. “[At the job fair], they’re all here and I can see what they’re hiring for.”
Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6134.