HANNIBAL — A wide spectrum of job opportunities and other career resources greeted visitors at the 2019 Hannibal Area Job Fair on Thursday, Oct. 10 in the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
Representatives from 39 area employers, staffing agencies and educational institutions met with visitors seeking jobs, pursuing higher education or connecting with veterans resources. The annual fair attracted a variety of employers from the area, and many jobs were ready for applicants who are ready to work.
Jane Fohey and Debbie Buchanan, with General Mills, handed out Nature Valley granola bars and talked about career opportunities with people who stopped by their booth. Fohey said she saw a steady flow of visitors. She said the local job market is filled with opportunities, and several different industries are seeking applicants for vacant positions. The strong number of available jobs is excellent news for jobseekers and brings increased competition between employers to fill those positions.
“In the years past, it hasn't been that way,” Fohey said. “But in the last couple years, we've noticed a big increase in competition with other employers for hiring.” Mike Wojick agreed.
“I thought this was a great job fair,” Wojick said. “There's no excuse — if somebody wants work, they can find it. I asked almost every booth what they were doing, what they were wanting, and I couldn't believe at the hospital how many jobs they had open.”
Buchanan agreed the fair was very productive, calling it a “one-stop shop” for people seeking a career. Pam White, with At Home Care, said some people seek a job without the willingness to work — several agencies were ready to help them prepare, including Hannibal-LaGrange University, Moberly Area Community College and John Wood Community College.
Paul Sulsler, admissions advisor with John Wood Community College, handed out resources about the various degree programs available. He wasn't seeking applicants, but he said he was sharing information that would help with achieving a desired career.
At the Abilities booth, executive director Kyra Davis said she had the chance to talk about part-time and full-time employment opportunities and spread awareness about the services the agency provides.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get out and network with some other agencies and facilities and see if they found any strengths or anything that's working for them to recruit new hires,” Davis said. “Hopefully, our goal would be to find some good candidates who would become employees in the future for us.”
Dallas English, employee and education specialist with Preferred Family Healthcare, said he regularly helps people find jobs in the area, and he enjoyed the chance to connect with fellow employers and area agencies.
“Im just always keeping an eye out for open positions,” English said. “I'm all about these networking opportunities out here.”
He talked with StaffQuick's consultant Brandy Miller and managing consultant Megan Bastert about the career opportunities in the area. Bastert said StaffQuick was seeking general laborers, welders and factory workers for all shifts. The jobs are temporary to permanent, and Miller said all the available positions were within 30 miles of Hannibal, with good pay and benefits.
McKenzie Disselhorst, executive director with the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted the annual event with fellow sponsors the Hannibal Job Center, Hannibal Parks and Recreation, Townsquare Media and the NEMO Workforce Development Board. She said jobseekers get to connect with career opportunities and employers network with one another.
“That just makes our workforce stronger, the more connected they are,” Disselhorst said.