NEWPORT CITY – Sometimes obtaining a job in this tough market is about getting the right employee and employer together. Friday, Creative Workforce Solutions (CWS) held a job fair at the Emory Hebard State Office Building to do just that.
Twenty hiring managers with about 170 open positions attended the job fair, as did many area job seekers. CWS targeted all job applicants, not just clients of the organization. For some, the job fair was a success and some employers hired workers on the spot.
This was CWS’s first job fair, but with anticipated development in the Newport area, business account manager Neil Morrissette predicts the organization will hold one every six months.
“Newport is growing and the Northeast Kingdom is growing,” said Morrissette. “This is just the beginning.”
Along with employers, representatives from Community College of Vermont, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services and the North Country Career Center attended the job fair to help prospective employees get some of the necessary skills they might need.
Orleans/Essex VNA and Hospice attended the job fair and Laurie Bellizzi, Director of Long Term Care and Private Duty, wanted to hire three to five personal care attendants. Halfway through the job fair, Bellizzi had interviewed 10 candidates.
Deanna Delacruz, from Northern Gas Transport, was looking for drivers to transport loads. Her company serves clients from Canada to southern New England and western New York State. She interviewed about a dozen candidates, but not everyone was qualified for a position with her company.
Erin Mathieu, North Country Engineering, said her company was looking for experienced computer numerical control (CNC) machinists. However, she was not sure that any of the 25 candidates who interviewed with her were qualified. She said there was a lot of ambition and interest, but not a lot of experience or training opportunities. Her company had reached its capacity at how many trainees and trainers it can handle right how. Mathieu believes educational institutions like Lyndon State College, Lyndon Institute and others offer some basic classes in the field.
Numerous Jay Peak Resort representatives wanted to fill many positions. Tom Howell, director of security at the resort, said the job fair gives opportunities for employers and employees to meet. Howell said it amazes him how many of people who are looking for work and many of them have impressive work experience.
“There is no way to really put a number on how many people will find jobs today,” said Howell. “We try to match people to positions and positions to people.”
Howell stressed that just because he didn’t hire someone for the department he oversees doesn’t mean he won’t recommend them to someone else’s department. “All of the information is shared among all the managers,” said Howell.
Kevin Deslauriers, human resource manager for Newport Furniture Parts, was looking to hire seven to ten people to work at the factory. By midday, he was very pleased with the three dozen or so people he spoke to and was confident some of them will fill the open positions.
Heather Lucier of Newport Center was hoping to get a job at Newport Furniture Parts. “I'd like to start working fulltime and be more independent,” said Lucier.
Prospective applicants were also happy with the employees who attended the job fair. Terry Dugan, 67, of Newport Center, was looking for either a part-time or a full-time job.
“Older people are very dependable, they have a lot of experience and they are serious about their work,” said Dugan, who has a background in machinery. “Nobody is going to get a job unless you put one foot in front of the other and try.”