Area career fair aims to improve unemployment

Area career fair aims to improve unemployment

Posted: Friday, October 11, 2013 4:00 am
By Karla Bowsher  |  kbowsher@chronicle-tribune.com
www.chronicle-tribune.com

career fair

Erika Horner, director for the Center for Success, chats with Verne Blon McCue, education liaison for the Indiana Department of Child Services, at right, during a Community Career Fair in the Conference Center at the Marion Ivy Tech Campus on Thursday. Ivy Tech Community College and Via Credit Union partnered to host the event.  Photo by Jeff Morehead.

The community college system’s Marion campus partnered with Via Credit Union for the event, which they hope to organize at least annually. While the campus has hosted career fairs in the past, Brian Sprayue, associate director of Student Support Services, said none reached the same scale.

He said more than 30 employers, universities and military branches participated in the event, which was free and open to the public as part of an effort to help not only students but the community.

“We definitely wanted to impact the community’s unemployment situation,” Sprayue said.

Participating businesses based in Grant and Blackford counties included Carey Services, Dunham’s Sports, Manpower and Verizon.

Leslie Wallace, a human resources administrator at Dollar General, said she appreciated the opportunity to speak with potential employees one-on-one.

“I am excited to meet people who are interested in positions at Dollar General,” she said. “Because it’s local, we get to meet people in the community.”

Pat Paynes, a nurse at Cornerstone Behavioral Health, said the fair also provides a way for the Marion-based mental health center to better reach out to the community it serves.

“I think we need to be open to the public,” she said. “Some people don’t realize the services that we offer.”

Both Indiana Wesleyan and Taylor universities also set up booths at the fair, along with area schools like Ball State University in Muncie and Indiana University Kokomo. Recruiters from the Army, Navy and Marines also attended.

The local community supported the event as well as benefitted from it.

Sprayue said a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County funded marketing efforts, for example. The United Way also volunteered to help with registration.

“It’s a good way to put a face to the United Way,” Executive Director Alicia Hazelwood said, “and to say think you to our employers.”

Next week, Ivy Tech’s Marion campus will also host its next Grant/Blackford County College Fair from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Admissions adviser Lonnie Peek said about 40 colleges have already signed up.

“It’s the only place in Grant County that all the colleges meet,” he said.

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