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Friday, May 6, 2016

Hopefuls apply selves at job fair

Friday, May 2, 2003

TERRE HAUTE -- Whether down on their luck or just seeing what's available in the local job market, thousands pounded the pavement hoping to land a job at the Western Indiana Regional Job Fair Thursday at the Vigo County Fairgrounds.

Kelly Jenkins, 23, traveled to the event from Rockville.

"It's a good opportunity to see what's out there," she said, adding she had just filled out six applications at various stands. She stopped for a moment to get a free Pepsi, while others were getting complimentary hot dogs, sandwiches and popcorn. Not interested in any specific type of occupation right now, Jenkins shrugged her shoulders and said she'd do "anything."

Western Indiana Employment and Training Services, Inc. Executive Director, Mitch Chalos, said the fair had special appeal to a job seeker like Jenkins.

"We think it's a good opportunity for those wanting to see what's out there. About 50 different employers are here today," Chalos said.

Two thousand sought jobs during last year's event, and more were expected to show up yesterday. Companies from Vigo and several surrounding counties, like AET, Manpower Temporary Services, Ivy Tech, Indiana State University, Gibault and several others set up booths throughout the building. Representatives from two Brazil Companies, MI Home Products and Intrepid Nursing were looking for new recruits, as well as the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy. Applicants could sit at tables and fill out forms on site for prospective employers.

MI Home Products spokeswoman, Chris Monroe, said she had a pretty steady line of job applicants file through her booth. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of vinyl, aluminum and cellular composite windows and doors in the country. Monroe explained that the company was mostly seeking production workers for the Brazil plant.

The armed forces booths spokesmen all said it was business as normal.

"I have five good, solid applicants coming in tomorrow," Douglas Francis, of the Air Force, said after the first two hours at his stand. Navy counterpart, Edward Morris, agreed. "We're just taking it easy, having fun," he said.

"Each one has something to offer," said Chalos, about the many employers at fair. Western Indiana Employment and Training Services, Inc. job developer, John Mace, agreed. Mace suggests applicants have updated resumes on hand when seeking a job and make contact at as many booths as possible at job fairs.

Sometimes the different companies could have just what they're looking for, he said.

Brazil Mayor Kenny Crabb said job fairs are good place for city residents out of work to land a job.

"Metal Industries is a strong suit in Clay County," he said, pointing out that the bigger factories have increased their workforce over the last year.

The low income, low-skilled positions are his major concern. He'd like to see more training programs become available, especially since technology has become so advanced, making positions easier to learn. He admits the county lacks many other types of job possibilities and says job fairs can give workers more options.

"Clay, Parke, Vermillion, Greene - we're all in the same boat economically," Crabb said.

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