Record numbers expected at Job Fair

Posted: Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The record number of employers coming to Wednesday's Juneau Job Fair reflects the success of last spring's event, an employment security specialist at the Juneau Job Center said.

"Let's face it, we wouldn't have this number of employers coming if it weren't lucrative for them," Glenn Mitchell said.

More than 60 employers are expected to set up shop from 3 to 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall, easily surpassing last spring's total of 44, he said. Partnering with the Juneau Empire has been a plus, he said, not only for its work in recruiting employers to participate but in offering Web links at the Internet site.

Last spring, organizers counted 1,500 people. In addition to employers with jobs to offer, other booths will offer training to make people more employable. Among them is the Alaska Job Corps and the Center for Employment Education, which trains people in commercial driving, hazardous materials management and construction technology.

Because the fair offers a forum where job-seekers can get together directly with employers, Mitchell said he doesn't have any statistics on job placements. But he hears good things from companies that come to the fair.

Alaska Pacific Bank, he said, came to last year's fair with four job openings and reported to him that it filled them all. Fred Meyer had 16 openings and reported filling more than half of them, he added. Both companies are scheduled to be back this year.

Sometimes, job-seekers make contacts that pay off for them later even if employers don't have positions for them at the fair, Mitchell added.

The Job Center organizes two fairs a year, but the spring clearly attracts more employers, Mitchell said. The tourism industry is hiring for the summer, Mitchell said. This year the company running the concessions at Denali National Park will be back after being gone for a few years, but most of the employers are from Southeast Alaska.

"We try to make it a Southeast job fair," he said. In addition to tourism, retail and finance, other opportunities include mining, restaurants and health care. The National Guard and Army will be represented, as well as local, state and federal government.

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