Washington Co. job fair helps get people back to work

More than 100 people are expected to attend a job fair hosted by Forward Careers at the Washington County Fair Grounds. Normally the event would host about 120 employers but due to COVID-19, and social distancing measures the number was capped at 30 employers.

“It’s really trying to facilitate that connection with job seekers and employers especially with the high unemployment rate right now,” said Cindy Simons with Forward Careers.

Joseph Gawrois has a mechanical engineering degree and he was one of the attendees looking for an engineering job. He said he hasn’t attended a job fair since college.

“Unfortunately COVID has been hitting a lot of people and I was one of them as far as a job,” said Gawrois.

According to the latest numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, in August Wisconsin’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.2%, the lowest it’s been in four months but there are many still without jobs. Simons said it was important to have an in-person job fair because many don’t have internet service.

“So, they really are relying on to meet with businesses in person to be able to promote their skills,” said Simons.

Despite the unemployment rate, many companies are still struggling to fill positions. Chris Olson with Russ Darrow Automotive Group said he is looking for sales representatives and skilled automotive technicians.

“We would like to see someone with a college education and the ability to talk to people,” said Olson.

Signicast, a company that makes parts for Plant Manager, Adam Lemmer said they too are looking to fill a variety of positions.

“We are really looking for high-quality people who are motivated to come out and work right now because we have lots of work and lot of overtime available,” said Lemmer.

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