Lancaster job fair hoping to connect job seekers and employers as the economy reopens

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Unemployment spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now as businesses reopen and more and more people receive coronavirus vaccines, employers are looking to fill open positions, and Pennsylvanians may be ready to get back to work. That’s where the Lancaster Chamber and Pennsylvania CareerLink Lancaster County come in.

“The need wasn’t there for a while during COVID, but now it’s just become very evident that there’s a need for job fairs and connecting job seekers to employers,” Molly Crouser, special events and programs manager with the Lancaster Chamber said.

The Lancaster Chamber and PA CareerLink Lancaster County are partnering to host a two-day job fair. On June 15, job seekers can visit pop-up locations around the county to pick up a job leads booklet containing information from around 80 hiring Lancaster County employers. On June 16, the organizations are hosting a traditional in-person job fair featuring about 30 businesses at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

“We thought now was a really great time to start putting together some in-person events,” Laura O’Neill, outreach and project manager at PA CareerLink Lancaster County said. Until recently, PA CareerLink Lancaster County could only really connect with the community virtually.

Tuesday’s pop-up events enable job seekers to collect information about available positions while minimizing their contact with others, while the job fair on Wednesday provides the face-to-face experience that has been lacking during the pandemic.

Those who are unable to attend the events either day can also download the job information packet from the Lancaster Chamber’s website, here.

Job fairs like this one help bridge the gap between employers and job seekers, says O’Neill. “There’s jobs everywhere, so we really want to make sure that we’re raising awareness of what those opportunities are and getting job seekers connected to them,” she said.

Industries represented in this two-day job fair include hospitality, healthcare, education, manufacturing, retail, and more. Crouser says the wide array of businesses represented indicates the extent of the need for employees, but more optimistically, it also means there are many different positions available for job seekers to fill.

Whereas previous labor shortages have often centered on singular industries such as manufacturing, now industries across the spectrum are looking to hire new people, Crouser explains.

“We’re really seeing a lot of different types of jobs available, and so I think that that will hopefully help with folks who are looking to get back into the workforce at varying levels,” Crouser said. The variety of open positions also provides the opportunity for job seekers to shift careers or enter new fields, Crouser notes.

In fact, this PA CareerLink Lancaster County and Lancaster Chamber job fair will include information about “skilling up,” or learning new skills to take on new positions, too.

The pop-up job fairs on June 15 will be at the following locations from 11-2 and 5-7:

Lancaster City
Clipper Magazine Stadium parking lot
650 N. Prince St.
Lancaster, PA 17603

Columbia
Old Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce parking lot
445 Linden St.
Columbia, PA 17512

Willow Street
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel parking lot
2400 Willow Street Pike
Lancaster, PA 17602

The job fair at Clipper Magazine Stadium on June 16 will take place from 12-6. No registration is necessary to attend. More information about the job fair can be found on the Lancaster Chamber’s website.

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