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By Joel Leonard
A job fair is a terrific tool to help companies that are struggling to find qualified talent for skilled positions. Recently, I organized the MPACT Skilled Maintenance and Facilities Engineering Job Fair, held January 5 in a 20,000-sq.ft. facility in Greensboro, N.C. The turnout exceeded the expectations of the employers as well as the potential employees.
Several employers were asked to visit the line of candidates that snaked through the parking lot for the three-hour job fair. The employers collected their resumes. Many candidates met with three to five employers before even getting to our door.
“We have never participated in a job fair with so many qualified candidates,” says Roger Tee of UNICCO Corp.
“I am not easily impressed with job fairs in general but, MPACT’s job fair was well organized and well attended with a diverse crowd of people. Even our personnel representative, Ann Lupton, had not seen a job fair turnout like MPACT’s for many years,” says Tony Fisher, facilities director of Boddie Noell.
More than three dozen companies participated, including Miller Brewing, Merck, UNIFI, Metzler Automotive, Reagan, Dulles and BWI Airports, Loxcreen, National Textiles, EPES Transportation, ITT, GKN Driveline, Boddie Noell, Dart Container, AFG Wipes, Degussa Stockhausen, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, UNICCO and Bridgestone Firestone. These companies were seeking to fill more than 350 positions in skilled maintenance and facilities engineering. Hourly positions averaged from $17 to $25 per hour.
“The great attendance from both employers and potential employees highlights the need for both groups to place greater emphasis on maintenance and reliability training,” says Rob Bencini, director, Guilford County Community and Economic Development.
The outpouring of support was phenomenal. This area of the country has been hit hard by factory closings. I’ve received reports that several follow-up interviews have been conducted and that several job offers have been extended.
The event also received extensive support from local and statewide media via television, radio and newsprint coverage. Also the North Carolina Department of Labor, North Carolina Workforce Development, Job Link Centers, VFW Posts, Chamber of Commerce Centers, and the Governor’s Rapid Response team notified employers, displaced workers, veterans, Katrina victims, and even laid off Northwest Airlines workers of the event.
Most importantly, the feedback from the job seekers was gratifying. Michael Holliman, who drove 10 hours from Detroit to attend the event, says, “I have been contacted by several of the companies that were there and one has offered me employment in the Greensboro area.”
The successful job fair inspired me to develop a list of the top 13 lucky qualities to land a job in skilled maintenance and facilities engineering:
There will be another job fair from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 20, MPACT Learning Center, LLC, 2 Centerview Drive, Greensboro, N.C. Advance registration is not necessary and there will be 100 to 150 employers represented. Employers wanting a booth at the event should contact me at the address below.
Contact Joel Leonard at Leonard.email@example.com.
Leonard is a recurring columnist for www.plantservices.com and Plant Services magazine. He recently appeared on television discussing the changes that lie in store for the maintenance industry in the 21st century. To view the real time media clip, click here.
PlantServices.com is an MRO (maintain, repair, replace, retrofit, overhaul and operations) resource site that features problem-solving articles and editorials for plant maintenance professionals.