By Belinda M. Paschal
PIQUA — After nearly two years of looking for a job in her field of study, Melissa Baker of Piqua left Edison Community College’s Career Expo 2014 on Tuesday with the best prospect she’s had in that time.
“I’ve searched in Miami, Darke, Shelby, Montgomery and Clark counties and could find nothing in my field,” said Baker, who holds a degree in electronic medical records and lost her job when her former employer retired.
“I kind of browsed through some of the health care companies and found a job opening for my exact position. I filled out the application and they said they’d get back to me within a week,” Baker said hopefully.
Pamela Gibellino, director of student success at Edison said the likelihood of being hired from attending job fairs like Edison’s is “very strong,” and added that the annual fair usually attracts about 500 job-seekers.
“My feeling is that there are definitely more job opportunities,” Gibellino said. “I see the job market in the area trending upward; it’s definitely improving.”
Held in Edison’s Gym and Convocation Center, the job fair featured more than 60 companies and organizations offering information about job openings, providing resume assistance and conducting on-site interviews.
Industries represented at the expo included business, financial services, manufacturing, health care, social services, retail, the Armed Forces and community organizations.
As manager of the school’s job board, Gibellino has the inside track on position openings at various companies and said the current “hot” industries are engineering technology, information technology and health care.
“I would say that electronic engineering technicians are in high demand, and certainly segments of health science jobs are thriving, such as nursing and home care,” she noted.
Electronic engineering is indeed a field in need of employees, said Tina Buntin, senior technical recruiter for the Belcan Corporation, and the expo drew some potential candidates. “We really need engineers; they’re hard to find,” she said. “This job fair is such a good idea — we’ve had a couple of people come through that I can get started on jobs next week.”
For first-timers like the Council on Rural Services, the expo is a good way to get the word out about their organizations and job openings, noted Carri Jones, a human resource assistant for the council. “We have several positions open and we’ve had some good prospects,” she added.
The expo also afforded job searchers the opportunity to network. “I’m a talker, so I’m making connections while making connections,” said Corey Kinsella. While talking to a representative at the Belcan Corporation table, the gregarious Piqua resident learned of employment opportunities with Advocare.
“I’d like to branch out of factory work,” said Kinsella, who also plans to attend Edison to study psychology or engineering. “It seems like the job market it taking a turn for the better and more jobs are opening up. Hopefully, it will keep on that path.”
With an hour and a half left to go, Gibellino pronounced the job fair a success. “We’ve already had nearly 500 people come through and we’ve exceeded the number of employees we’ve had in previous years,” she said. “This is such a win-win for everybody.”
Belinda M. Paschal may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall