About 500 people took part in the third annual Jefferson County Job Fair, held Aug. 19 at the Fox C-6 Service Center in Arnold.
Of those, about 350 came seeking jobs and had the opportunity to speak with some of the approximately 100 representatives from the 49 employers who participated in the fair.
Attendees also included about 20 students from Fox and Seckman high schools and Jefferson College, who helped at the fair.
During the three-hour event, job seekers turned in resumes, filled out applications and interviewed for jobs.
Margie Sammons, a board member for the Arnold Chamber of Commerce, which was one of the Job Fair sponsors, said the event was a success.
“The vendors were excited, and there were interesting candidates for positions,” she said. “Hopefully, this helps people find jobs if they have been looking for a while or want to change careers.”
The Job Fair, presented by Express Employment Professionals, also was sponsored by Leader Publications, the Fox C-6 School District, the city of Arnold and Jefferson College.
Lexi Endsley, marketing coordinator for Express Employment Professionals, said she was thrilled with the turnout.
“I am excited to see people out and about looking for a job after there was a theme for a couple of months of no one wanting to work,” Endsley said during the event. “I am hoping we have done a 180 on that, and everyone is out now ready to get into a new job or new position. I love that we are seeing a nice mix of people. I have seen people who have worked in administrative roles to forklift operators.”
Richard Kassebaum, 36, of Arnold said he was happy to have a chance to attend a Job Fair close to home
“I was able to do a little more in-depth research and have one-on-one conversations without having to drive all over the place,” he said.
Kassebaum, who works in finance but has been unemployed for about two months, said he gave his resume to four potential employers at the fair.
“This is the first time for me, so it is a bit of a culture change,” Kassebaum said of attending a Job Fair looking for work. “I am used to being on the other side. It is good to see it from this perspective, so when I am in that position again, I know what it is like to be the person seeking a position.”
Kaylin Cordova, 31, of Festus, who has worked in a variety of fields, said she spoke with a few representatives from nursing homes about starting a career as a certified nursing assistant.
“There is a little bit of everything, and you can talk to a lot of different people about different professions,” she said. “They are all willing to consider you.”
Becky Mullins, assistant director of waiver at Sunnyhill Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities, said the organization took numerous resumes and handed out cards to a lot of job seekers during the fair.
Mullins said the Job Fair allows people to see how many employment opportunities are out there, and it helps companies and organizations get their names out in the community.
“It is important to come to events like this, so people can know what we do,” she said.
Endsley said she hopes the Job Fair helped people find jobs and employers fill open positions.
“We want to see people back working and supporting the community,” she said. “It was nice to see everyone from 18-year-olds who don’t have much experience to 50-year-olds with tons of experience and everyone in between have access to numerous different positions.”