The economic outlook for Hardin County has improved in recent months. International Paper has doubled the size of its cup-making facility in Kenton and created many jobs. Sekisui has opened is plastics parts plant in Kenton with more jobs being available. Ada Technologies is adding to its payroll at the automotive parts maker.
The county’s unemployment rate is between four and five percent. But there are still people who need help finding employment, said Jon Cross, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance.
To meet the professional needs of the work force, the Alliance is partnering with Hardin County Job and Family Services, the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Means Jobs to sponsor a Job and Career Expo on Friday in Kenton.
Doors open at 9 a.m. in the community room at the Jacob Parrott Safety Center (sheriff’s office) on South Main Street, where 30 businesses will be on hand to interview prospective employees.
There is an eagerness to hire, said Cross, based on the positive response from the business community to plans for the expo. But he said it is more than just a job fair. The expo also can be a learning experience.
For many the process will begin the day before the interviews, said Director Barb Maxson of Job and Family Services. Her office will be open until 4:30 p.m. Thursday to help applicants with their resumes and coach them on how to improve their chances of securing a job. Job coaches will give advice to the workers on the hiring process, said Terry Hites-Suter of JFS. This service will be available to the general public, as well as veterans and those with jail or prison records.
The jobs offered will not be only factory jobs, said Cross. Employers from the medical, banking, government and other professions will be seeking employees. There are positions available for part-time and full-time employees on hourly rates or salaried positions, he said. There is no charge to employers or job seekers to attend the expo, said Cross.
The success of the expo at this stage is a testament to the cooperation between the sponsoring agencies and others in the county, said Cross.