2017-04-06 / Front Page

Job Fair Is Tuesday

By Jacob A. Ball

The upcoming job fair in St. Ignace Tuesday, April 11, is in need of job seekers. The fair will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Little Bear East Arena. Every summer, the Straits area struggles to find enough applicants to fill the numerous seasonal positions available. In addition, there will be businesses searching for full-time permanent employees in the skilled trades, management positions, and a variety of other jobs. Organized by Michigan Works, this year the fair has already received commitments from 29 employers, and more are expected to sign up. In 2016, the job fair had 39 employers attend, and Jim Clapperton of Michigan Works in St. Ignace said he is expecting more this year. Anyone seeking employment, including seasonal workers and high school students, is encouraged to come see what is available.

“I highly encourage people to come to the job fair. Even if for some reason you think it will be easy to find a job, it is still time well spent to come and look around,” Mr. Clapperton said.

He added that anyone who wants a job would be able to find one for the summer season at least. High school students are also invited to come to the job fair to search for an opportunity for summer employment. The time has been moved an hour back from last year’s fair, to allow students to attend after classes.

Last Thursday, March 23, Michigan Works hosted a similar event in Sault Ste. Marie, with varied success. There were 48 tables at the fair representing around 45 employers, including some offering year-around employment. Along with private businesses, the Michigan National Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Michigan State Police, and Michigan Rehabilitation Services were in attendance recruiting workers. One-hundred-twenty-eight job seekers attended, but Mr. Clapperton said that Michigan Works was hoping for more.

“There seems to be a trend where we’re not seeing as many job seekers in recent years,” he said.

He has no definitive reason, but speculates that in part, job seekers may feel more confident than in the past that they will find work.

Some of the same businesses will attend the job fair in St. Ignace. Employee searches have become regionalized, as fewer job seekers have been showing up to fill open positions. Mr. Clapperton said that employers have begun to reach out farther from their local communities in recent years to find the right person for a job.

He expects a wide assortment of employers and jobs at the St. Ignace fair, and said there would be assuredly a large number of seasonal retail, food service, and hospitality openings. Every year these businesses seem to have the most need for employees, he said. This year, some openings in management are available, too, he said. In recent years, the St. Ignace Job Fair has hosted Lake Superior State University, the Michigan State Parks and Harbors Service, and Michigan Department of Corrections.

Mr. Clapperton offered advice to job seekers about coming prepared for multiple job interviews, and said that those who dress appropriately and practice what to say beforehand would find more success. Looking presentable and ready to work, he said, could help an individual stand out to potential employers.

The fair is free of charge for both job seekers and employers. To reserve a free table, call the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce at (906) 643- 8717.

The St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, St. Ignace Area Schools, and the Consolidated Community School Services sponsor the job fair.

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