With résumés in-hand, visitors of the local Goodwill Career Connection Center’s inaugural job fair spoke with representatives from 15 different employers in and around Jasper County. Some had even stepped aside to fill out applications immediately after receiving one. Others took home pamphlets or informational documents.
Rachel Colburn and Joelly Scheff, career connectors of the Newton Goodwill Career Connection Center, were pleased with the early turnout, not knowing exactly what to expect from the first-time event, held Tuesday afternoon on the second floor of the Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus.
“The purpose of the job fair is so that Newton or Jasper County participants can get opportunities or job leads to stay here in town and remain in Jasper County,” Colburn said. “So (the Goodwill Career Connection Center organized) a career fair that can kind of give those opportunities.”
Colburn and Scheff said they wanted to create an event that would be beneficial to people who live in Jasper County. The career connectors — which operate from Room 241 of the DMACC Newton Campus — consistently work with people wanting to look for jobs in their nearby communities.
The Goodwill Career Connection Center in Newton has been open for about five years. As career connectors, Scheff and Colburn work with the community to help with résumés, application assistance, advance digital/computer literacy skills and interview prep.
“We also work with local school districts and we go in and do mock interviews,” Scheff said. “We also work with the businesses. So a business will call us and say, ‘Hey, I need so many employees. Can I set up a time to come in and do a hiring event?’”
Colburn said the center helps people aged 14 to 82 find jobs or develop their job seeking skills.
“People can walk in and we can help them right then and there if they kind of want more of that one-on-one assistance,” Colburn said. “We try to set up appointments to make it most beneficial to them so that we can actually complete whatever they’re wanting in that timeframe we allow for them.”
Sometimes Goodwill Career Connection Center partners with different businesses to set up classes.
“It really is geared toward what the individual is wanting,” Colburn said.
Using the feedback from participants, the local staff from Goodwill Career Connection Center found many recommended employers, such as TPI Composites, Thombert, Hy-Vee, Graphic Packaging International, Van Maanen Electric, Inc., Manatts, Inc. and others to participate in the career fair.
“A couple of them are newer that I felt would be beneficial for the community to learn about them and the services they provide and that they have access to possibly working with this company,” Scheff said.
Colburn added, “We’re just hopeful that people are going to come out and speak with employers today so that it can be beneficial to them to be able to find employment located locally.”
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org