The 30th annual Jobs Plus Regional Job Fair is set to take place for two-days next week.
“Due to regional restrictions in place because of COVID-19, the fair will look very different this year,” Director of Employment and Training Tony Fuhrmann said.
The free event, sponsored by Madison and St. Clair counties, will take place as a virtual job fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Illinoisworknet.com and the drive-through event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Gateway Convention Center, 1 Gateway Dr., Collinsville.
It is expected that 20 area employers from various industries in the region will participate on the Virtual Job Fair platform. Job seekers wishing to participate in this event will need to register ahead of time on Event Brite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jobs-plus-virtual-job-fair-tickets-121247804447
During the virtual event, job seekers will be able to listen to presentations given by representatives from each employer about the types and number of jobs available with their businesses. After the representatives present, the floor will be open for candidates to ask questions.
There will be 12 to 15 area employers at the drive-through event. Job seekers will be able to speak with hiring managers and recruiters from their cars or at outside tables. There is no registration required for this day, but masks are required for all participants.
“This year, COVID-19 has made it more complicated to plan events like this for our businesses and job seekers,” Fuhrmann said. “But that makes it even more important for us to organize worthwhile hiring events. There are still a lot of people out of work right now and the Jobs Plus Job Fair will be an excellent way to connect them with employers who have open positions.”
Cindy Layman, programs specialist for St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department, said that, regardless of how job seekers choose to participate in this year’s event, they should still be prepared to share their updated resumes and dressed professionally as if they were ready to interview.
“It’s also important to understand how to use the virtual platforms and Zoom before the start of the event,” she said.
Layman encourages anyone who is interested in the virtual job fair, to get on Illinoisworknet.com ahead of time to check out the list of employers who will be attending, and to make sure their equipment works correctly.
Sponsors for this year’s event include: Caritas Family Solutions/SCSEP, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Rehabilitation Services, Lewis & Clark Community College, Madison-Bond,-Jersey-Calhoun Workforce Innovation Board, Madison County Employment & Training Department, Madison County Housing Authority, Mid America Workforce Investment Board, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Southwestern Illinois College, St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department-Workforce Development Group.
“Helping our citizens find jobs and providing them with those opportunities is the No. 1 priority for us,” Fuhrmann said.