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More than 20 Lake County manufacturers participating in virtual job fair to fill over 90 open positions

Posted at 8:14 AM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 20:13:21-04

LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — Lake County will host a virtual job fair the week of June 22 and the focus will be on the county's largest employment sector: Manufacturing.

News 5 is a proud sponsor of the event.

"American manufacturing is highly innovative," said Juliana Petti, executive director AWT Foundation.

The city of Mentor has the fifth largest manufacturing sector in the state of Ohio. It is home to Fortune 500 companies to family-owned shops like Fredon Corporation; where they provide precision machining needs for customers in the defense, aerospace and transportation industries.

"We're high-tech, we're computer-based and it's a lot different than what you would've seen 50 years ago," said Alyson Scott, president of Fredon Corp.

It is not your grandpa's manufacturing floor. And they're hoping a virtual job fair helps that message reach a new generation of workers.

"It's a great way to embrace the technology, and make it more efficient for everyone involved really," she said.

Fredon is one of 25 Lake County manufacturers participating in the virtual job fair. Ninety positions are available for varying skill and pay levels.

"These jobs can range from project engineer to a CNC machinist to a 3D printing manufacturer, and it could be a plant or floor manager," said Patrick Mohorcic, Lake County Workforce Development Board.

"We just want to get people back to work as fast as possible and in a safe environment, and we feel this is the best way to do that," he said.

You need to register. Click here to register.

Then, the virtual job fair is open around the clock all week. Job seekers can look through open positions, learn more about the companies, and send e-mails to ones they're interested in. Employers will then start the conversation.

A Columbus company, founded by U.S. Veterans, called Oplign, runs the artificial intelligence software that matches jobseekers to the jobs they are qualified for in under a minute.

"CNC machinists is always what companies come looking for," said Petti.

"Our machinists are some of the brightest people I know," said Scott. "They are doing incredible things and calculations."

Petti said welding is another job in high demand right now.

“But for the people who don't have those skills, don't be afraid to apply for the warehouse or shipping positions," she advised.

Petti also encouraged people not to shy away from a manufacturing career just because you think may not have the necessary technical skills because, “Most companies can teach that if you show you're willing to work and excited to be there," said Petti.

Scott echoed the sentiment. She said a strong desire to learn, be present and a strong work ethic are often more important to them than your experience.

The pandemic inspired the online hiring event to promote physical distancing.

Mohorcic says most manufacturers didn't lay off workers during the pandemic. Instead, they implemented hiring freezes that are now lifting.

Northeast Ohio manufacturers needed workers then and still do now.

"We want people to stay in Northeast Ohio, in Lake County, in Mentor because it makes all of us in the community stronger," said Scott.

Scott says she's hopeful the global health crisis turns out to be good for the U.S. manufacturing industry. She says we should rethink where things are being made and look to possibly reshore manufacturing for things like PPE and medical equipment so it's more readily available domestically in case of another large-scale emergency.

This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.