Workforce

Job Hunting

Prospective workers meet employers at job fair organized by city-county

Bonnie Mann, director of human relations for Penguin Random House, hands a pen to Dan Busenbark, who gathered information on job opportunities Thursday at the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Job Fair at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
Bonnie Mann, director of human relations for Penguin Random House, hands a pen to Dan Busenbark, who gathered information on job opportunities Thursday at the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Job Fair at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
Nick Hedrick/Journal Review
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Lleyton Harris is the kind of worker labor-strapped manufacturers want to find: He’s eager to work.

“I’ve been working 25 hours a week. I have bills to pay. I’d like to work 60 hours a week,” said Harris, who works at a local factory but has been searching for another manufacturing job.

Harris was among job hunters who met with area employers Thursday at a job fair hosted by the City of Crawfordsville and the Mayor’s Countywide Workforce Roundtable.

More than 40 employers ranging from large factories and healthcare providers to service industries and colleges were represented at the daylong event at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds.

“We hear you loud and clear that you struggle to find employees and we hope this helps in some part,” Mayor Todd Barton said in opening remarks.

Local companies are sounding a familiar refrain in the current economic situation: It’s hard to find qualified workers to fill openings and to keep people they’ve already hired.

“There’s so many employers hiring [that] someone doesn’t hesitate to leave and go somewhere else for another job,” said Bonnie Mann, director of human resources for Penguin Random House, which currently employs just under 900 people.

Mann handed paperwork to Dan Busenbark, who wants to move off the night shift and change to a daytime job to spend more time with his family. David Kessler wants the late-night hours. He’s a home inspector during the day.

The Montgomery County Early Childhood Coalition promoted career opportunities in the childcare field and distributed information to working parents needing a provider. The coalition has developed a guide for parents on important questions to ask when looking for a provider and how to find high-quality programs.

The coalition is hosting an early learning expo from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 18 at the Masonic Cornerstone Event Center (formerly known as the Masonic Temple.)

The event will feature industry vendors and remarks from Diane Pike, director of outreach and professional development at Indianapolis-based St. Mary’s Child Center.

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