— Generally, it is assumed that unemployment results partly from a lack of job opportunities and partly from a lack of qualified job seekers.
While the confluence of these factors foments joblessness, the phenomenon can be exacerbated by a raw lack of communication, even in this information age of ubiquitous media platforms. Basically, qualified people reside in the market and job opportunities are available, but the one side isn’t aware of the other. Thus, the unemployed remain oblivious to jobs, and companies with job opportunities remain oblivious to the depth of the workforce.
Job fairs neatly bridge this disconnect by bringing job seekers and employee seekers together in one physical location to match needs to qualifications. The job fair June 6 at Madison Park Church of God in Anderson is a great example. More than 1,100 folks looking for new employment attended the fair, where they met face to face with representatives of 52 companies with 700 job openings.
A wide range of employers and occupations were represented, from information technology to truck driving to medical and finance professionals.
The jobs are located in Madison and contiguous counties, and also Marion County. It was Madison County’s first large-sclae job fair of 2008, which begs the question of why so much time passed between fairs.
Madison County’s unemployment rate continues to run higher than the state and national averages. In April, the last month for which numbers are available, the county’s rate was 9.6, the state’s 8.0 and the nation’s 7.1.
If a third of those who attended the job fair Thursday found a job or a better job, it would make a significant impact on the local economy. When folks have jobs, of course, they have more money to spend on local goods and services.
Matt Carson of Alliance One, a collections and customer service provider located at The Flagship Center in Anderson, was pleasantly surprised by the attendance at the job fair. He estimated that he received 50 resumes within the first hour.
That’s a great way for companies to find the right people for job openings — and a great way for job seekers to gain employment.
In summary Job fairs neatly bridge a disconnect by bringing job seekers and employee seekers together in one physical location to match needs to qualifications.