Prospective employees to be welcomed at Armstrong County Career and Job Fair
Thursday’s event to feature companies in health care, manufacturing, machining, construction and the oil and gas industries
Job seekers hoping to find employment or move to a better job will have the opportunity to meet with potential employers from 61 different companies Thursday at the Armstrong County Career and Job Fair.
The event will be held from 3-5 p.m. in the gym of Apollo-Ridge High School at 1825 State Route 56, Spring Church. The fair will feature four companies in the natural gas and oil industry in Western Pennsylvania, as well as employers in health care, manufacturing and machining, among other industries, according to Michael Beck, an Armstrong County CareerLink specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
Employers in home improvement and construction will also be recruiting at the job fair, Beck said.
He said most of the companies are from Indiana, Pittsburgh and Butler.
“Most of the employers that are showing up are short-handed to begin with,” he said.
At Monday night’s Apollo Ridge school board meeting, district Superintendent Matt Curci said some employers will be “taking applications and hiring on the spot.”
Beck said representatives of one employer, Packaging Corp. of America in Cheswick, told him last week they have 12 openings.
The company offers a starting wage of $18 per hour, he said, and also offers a benefits package and two weeks vacation. After 90 days, the wage rises to $18.60 per hour, Beck said.
He said most jobs in the heart of Armstrong County don’t offer wages that high.
Beck said the job fair is a chance for job seekers to show up and give what he calls an “elevator speech,” a two-minute speech they could give a potential employer during an elevator ride.
Beck said the speech should be a short summary of what a job seeker’s knowledge, skills and abilities are, and why they want to work for a particular company.
For example, if true, a potential employee might say, “I’m looking for a CNC machining vertical mill operator job. I have skills in X, Y and Z, and am looking for a better employment opportunity.”
Potential employees who have worked in industry should tell prospective employers what materials they have worked with, Beck said.
Beck said job seekers can obtain the directory of employers who will be attending the career fair by sending an email request to: RA-LIBWDP Kittannin@pa.gov.
He suggested those coming to the job fair prioritize the employers they are most interested in.
“If time permits, start with the employers in which you’re less interested!” Beck’s press release says. “This will allow you to sharpen your approach for the employers you’re most interested in.”
The press release gives other advice on how to land a job at the fair:
“Dress appropriately … first impressions are important,” the release states, “present a more professional appearance and be more comfortable if you dress in a ‘business casual — professional’ attire.
The release suggests job seekers come as early as possible at 3 p.m., and complete applications ‘fully’ even when the information is already on their resumes.
Another good idea is to develop a plan, review the fair directory and quickly locate the employers the employee is most interested in, the release said.
People attending should assume that they will wait to speak with some employers.
The release also says no single employer’s representative is knowledgeable about all available positions, and some will be there to share their experiences working at the organization and may not be involved in the hiring process.
If the employer representative does not know about jobs of interest to the potential employee, the job-seeker should ask for the name of someone who can be contacted by phone or email, the release said.
After introducing themselves, shaking hands with the potential employer and giving the two-minute summary of their skills, potential employees should ask employers for their cards, and promptly send a simple, mailed or emailed thank you note, the release says.
The CareerLink release suggests always checking with employers before taking materials from their tables, and being courteous to other job seekers waiting to speak with employers by keeping questions brief, and offering to continue conversation at a later time.
The release suggests that job-seekers avoid chewing gum, and remember that tobacco products are not permitted on school property or parking lots.
Cell phones should also be turned off and put away at the job fair, the release says.
Anne Cloonan is a staff reporter for the Leader Times. She can be reached at 724- 543-1303, ext. 1337, or email@example.com.