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When:June 20, noon to 7 p.m.; June 21, 9 a.m. to noon
Where:Shelby Christian Church, 2375 Frankfort Road
Cost:Free for job seekers, $50 for businesses
A Career Expo planned for June 20-21 promises to be a big success; at least that’s the expectation of officials from three different economic development sectors in Shelby County.
The two-day event, which will be held at Shelby Christian Church, is a joint effort between the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation and the ShelbyKy Tourism Commission and Visitors Bureau.
For these three agencies to join forces in such a way is a first for Shelby County, officials’ say.
Libby Adams, Executive Director of the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation, said that her agency had done a couple of career fairs in the past, but never as a joint venture.
“We have done two, but they were both in the nineties,” she said. “Katie Fussenegger [director of ShelbyKY Tourism] asked me if we had ever considered doing one [together], and I thought about it – with all the industries and businesses, you know, you see signs up everywhere that they’re hiring. I know industries have a problem finding employees, and so I said, ‘yes, that’s something we need to do,’ so she and I went to Shelley [Goodwin] and it was a collaboration from there. We all work together.”
Goodwin, executive director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, said that when Adams and Fussenegger approached her with the idea of having a combined career fair, she was very receptive to the idea.
“We have a lot of our businesses in all sectors that we know are looking for employees,” she said. “There have been, in regional areas, some businesses that have closed that we’re aware of, and [we] felt that it was just a good time to reach out and try to help our local businesses find employees, and there’s a potential of drawing in folks from some of those other communities.”
Goodwin said that there are about 30 businesses participating in the event, which includes both small and large retailers.
“We have retail, we have manufacturing, we have service businesses, some of the retailers from the outlet shoppes, education,” she said. “So it is a cross section of all different kinds of businesses across the community.”
The event also has the support of Shelby’s three government entities; the cities of Shelbyville and Simpsonville, as well as the Shelby County Fiscal Court, have all contributed $1,000 each to sponsor the fair. AT&T is also a sponsor, but officials have not returned phone calls from The Sentinel-News on the amount they contributed or why they are participating.
Fussenegger said that she came up with the idea of holding a joint job fair because of the potential benefit to the tourism industry.
“With the new outlet mall opening and the restaurants around that area in Simpsonville opening, that is the whole reason that tourism is involved, because this is not a sector of business that we would normally dabble in,” she said. “However, there are so many hospitality jobs out there, and I would say that is probably fifty percent of the applicants [vendors] are of the hospitality industry. It’s very exciting and much needed, so I’m glad that they’re choosing to participate early on.”
Goodwin said that registration is continuing, and that it’s possible that even more businesses could sign up for the event beyond those that have already committed.
“We are getting businesses registered to attend and we are getting ready to start marketing to potential applicants,” she said. “We expect a large turnout. We have around thirty registered now and we anticipate probably more before the event itself. It’s the first time [joint job fair] as a community, because it’s not just the chamber. It’s the first time that we collectively have had one.”
Goodwin said despite the deadline for businesses to register passing, she’s still accepting sign-ups through today.
“We’re trying to get everybody signed up by the end of the week [today],” she said.
Job applicants are being asked to bring resumes or an employment history with them. Also, assistance will be available with resume writing and interview skills, as well as completing applications. In some cases, interviews could even take place at the event.