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Ohio Means Jobs Lake County hosts first in-person job fair since pandemic began

Hiring struggles continue for employers
Mentor job fair
Posted at 6:15 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 19:31:42-04

MENTOR, Ohio — Dozens of people showed up at Mentor Ice Arena, where nearly 30 employers took part in Ohio Means Jobs Lake County’s first in-person job fair since the pandemic began.

It marks a return to pre-pandemic ways of recruiting potential job seekers, as a nationwide employee shortage continues to put stress on customers and employers.

Data from Ohio Means Jobs shows there were 291,000 unemployed workers in June, right as the Ohio Means Jobs website listed more than 200,000 available jobs.

For Robin Tung, human resources manager at Produce Packaging Inc in Willoughby Hills, that means a chance to hopefully fill some of his 30-50 open positions.

“Hopefully we can attract some talent today,” he said. “I’ve been with the company on and off for the last 16 years, I've never seen it this bad. I’m hoping to find career minded people who are serious about working. It's not a difficult job and there’s definitely room for advancement.”

For Tung, raising his wages barely moved the needle.

“We needed to increase those to be competitive, and we need good workers and we’re still finding a high turnover rate, unfortunately,” he said. “If I don’t have enough people, I can't fill the orders.”

Despite what many employers exclaim, job-seeker Karen Hyde told News 5 this job market is about as hot as the ice rink that housed this event.

“I’m a prime example: I’ve been looking for a job and no one is calling me,” she said. “I have a lot of qualifications and they’re just not calling back.”

Since losing her medical billing job at the beginning of the pandemic, Hyde applied to dozens of jobs and disagrees with the perception that workers don’t want to work.

“I've always worked all my life and sitting at home has been horrible,” she said.

The job fair will continue virtually on Thursday. For more information and to register for the virtual event, please contact (440)350-4000 (option 3) or lake_omj_inquiry@jfs.ohio.gov.