Phil Castle, The Business Times
As a work force matchmaker, Curtis Englehart looks forward to events connecting businesses looking for employees with people looking for jobs.
Englehart said he’s especially excited about the upcoming JobFest Job Fair at the Mesa County Workforce Center, where he works as director. He expects the job fair to include more than 50 businesses with job openings and more than 300 potential job applicants.
Moreover, the job fair will cap a month of events designed to promote work force development.
The effort comes at a time when monthly unemployment rates have dropped in Mesa County, the local labor force has grown and the number of job orders posted at the workforce center in Grand Junction remains strong, Englehart said. “Those three indicators are all trending in the right direction.”
The JobFest Job Fair is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the workforce center, located at 512 29 1/2 Road. The fair will open to veterans at 9 a.m. and the public from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free to businesses and job seekers.
Englehart said he expects the fair to fill up with more than 50 businesses, each looking to fill job openings. The fair offers a good opportunity for retailers and others to hire for the upcoming holiday season as well as for businesses to fill permanent positions.
They’ll have a lot of good applicants from which to choose, he said. “It’s not so much the quantity, but the quality of the job seekers.”
Many applicants already have jobs, but are looking for better positions or career changes, he said.
Given a tight labor market that makes it more difficult to find skilled employees, Englehart said businesses have to attract applicants not only with wages, but also benefits, flexibility and culture.
To help prepare applicants, a job fair boot camp is set for 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 23 at the workforce center. Human resource professionals, including those recruiting at the job fair, will help participants with resumes and interviews. The HR professionals also will discuss what they look for in applicants.
The JobFest Job Fair will cap a series of events planned as part of National Workforce Development Month.
Englehart said local events reflect collaborative efforts involving the workforce center as well as the CareerWise apprentice program, Colorado Mesa University, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Mesa County Libraries, Mesa County School District 51, Western Colorado Community College and others.