It is a recurring problem in post-industrial cities such as Johnstown, that companies cannot find qualified and motivated employees to fill their positions. This lose-lose scenario leaves the company in question short-handed and a potential employee out of a job. While typical job fairs offer the opportunity to find these individuals, many disadvantaged or disengaged potential employees will simply not attend. This may be because they feel as though they will be glanced over in favor of other attendees or they simply do not have the resources to prepare themselves accordingly. To combat this issue, United Neighborhoods team devised a plan to host a job fair meant specifically for those individuals.
The UN team decided that the most effective way to help was to hold a pop-up job and resource fair in conjunction with JARI and CareerLink. By offering both access to resource providers who will provide attendees with the necessary guidance to prepare for a job, and job providers in the same location, these individuals will be able to walk away from the job fair with scheduled interviews AND the knowledge to attain even more. When this event was first planned, we expected to get a response from 3-4 job and resource providers, which is typical in the world of pop-up job fairs. Amazingly, in our preliminary recruitment of job and resource providers, we had 7 job providers and 5 resource signed up to attend! However, the fantastic response did not stop there…After announcing the event to the public, 5 more job providers reached out to us to become involved with the event. When asked why they wanted to get involved, one job provider said his company believed dearly in the mission of the event and wanted to see those that attended succeed in their personal AND professional life.
After seeing the unbelievably positive response from both attendees and providers, we are confident that this type of event will become more popular in our region. We would like to thank all those that attended and the following job and resource providers for assisting in making the event a success:
Exhibitors in Attendance:
- PA CareerLink – Cambria County
- Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies
- Lifepoint Shared Business Services
- JWF Industries
- Veteran’s Community Initiatives, Inc.
- United Way of the Laurel Highlands
- The Learning Lamp
- Firehouse Subs
- Alleghenies Unlimited Care Providers
- Crown American Associates
Resource Agencies Providers:
- Education Assistance
- Job Seeker Services
- Social Service Support Programs
- Job Options
- Record Expungement Information
We are currently planning to host similar pop-up job fair events in the near future. To improve the next event, we will be touching base with the companies and the individuals that participated to gauge effectiveness this event had. Based on the feedback received, we will adjust the strategy moving forward to ensure that more attendees are hired and more jobs are filled. If you or anyone you know would like to attend or become a job provider at the next event, make sure to follow us on Facebook page and keep an eye on our upcoming events!