IPFW Job Fair paired companies looking to hire with applicants l - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

IPFW Job Fair paired companies looking to hire with applicants looking for a career upgrade

Posted: Updated:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

Matching job seekers with job openings.

Wednesday’s 15th annual IPFW Job Fair featured reps from 75 companies trying to fill more than 4,000 paid positions.

The event was held at a time when employers and applicants are both looking for a step up.

Noon-time, IPFW'S International Ballroom was buzzing with activity.

Donna Gaul checked in at a few booths, in pursuit of a career change mid-life.

"I was a teacher for 21 years and now I'm looking to find something new and this is one of the steps I wanted to take to see what I could find," Gaul said.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is Jorryn Russell.

The junior in high school used part of his summer vacation to scout out what he might like to do with the next 40 years of his life.

“I'm trying to find, like, the right job that I actually want to do instead of doing something that I wouldn't enjoy doing like long-term," Russell said. 

The unemployment rate in Allen County right now is very low, but for some of the people who filled the ballroom, that's not necessarily a good thing.

Chris Brown, manning a booth for a skilled trades union, has a great story to tell.

"Everybody who has been holding onto their money for construction projects is spending it all right now," said the rep. from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 166.

Despite that, his organization is scrambling for apprentices to fill good paying jobs.

"Back in the recession, you know, we might have had 400 or 500 applicants, right now we're doing all we can to get the best possible applicants we can," Brown said.

"We're machining and making pieces and parts for anything that our customers want to build," said Michelle Pugh, who works for 80/20 Incorporated out of Whitley County.

The company is fighting competitors for workers, who are in demand.

"Lots of companies are looking for employees and getting the right candidates can be a little trying," Pugh said.

Unemployment is not a problem, but the pay scale for workers can be.

Wages in Northeast Indiana have struggled for years to stay at about 80 percent of the national average.

Michael Mills, who wants a job in graphic arts, would like to see that change.

"A lot of us would like to get paid more than we are, but it is what it is and you know you have to take what you can get," Mills said.

Congressman Jim Banks, a sponsor of the event, believes tax reform in Washington could make a difference.

"I think we're going to see the impact of that as a result of good public policy coming out of Washington DC from a more pro-business perspective," Banks said.

That would be welcome news for a crowd looking to add payroll or secure a better paycheck.

Powered by Frankly