Job seekers turn out at 2019 Career Expo
WHEELING — Employers want to hire dependable and capable workers, and they acknowledge the search for these employees is getting more competitive.
Job-seekers turned out Wednesday for the 2019 Career Expo, Connection To Your Future, at WesBanco Arena. The event was sponsored by the Herald-Star, The Weirton Daily Times, The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and the Times Leader.
The newspapers have jobs available in such areas as advertising, editorial and positions related to the printing of the newspaper, according to Pam Bennett, advertising director for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.
“Being a community newspaper, our goal is to not only be a strong part of the community, but to make sure the community is strong,” she said.
Bennett echoed the sentiment of many employers at the expo in saying dependability is a major attribute she is looking for employees.
Josh Bischof of Wheeling was among the first to arrive at the expo. He holds a degree in psychology, and recently moved back to the Ohio Valley.
“I just wanted to see what was out there,” he said. “If I don’t find anything, I’m considering going back to school.”
Employers at the expo specialized in anything from home security to mining, with some saying they were willing to train potential employees.
Celia Reznicak, human resources director for Lauttamus Communications, said the company is looking for people interested in technology, communications or security.
They are looking for installers, sales representatives and two-way technicians. In addition, the company has a 24-hour answering service and is looking for operators.
“The biggest challenge we face is finding people willing to work, train and stay,” Reznicak said.
GMS Mine Repair and Maintenance is in need of underground coal miners, construction workers, welders and related trades, according to GMS job recruiters Josh Musgrove and Bryce Civin.
“If they are not trained, we are willing to help them get trained,” Musgrove said.
Civin added it was hard to find people with qualified experience.
A wide variety of positions are available at Wheeling Hospital, according to human resources generalist Serge Gentile. There are entry level jobs open for dietary aids and cleaning attendants, and classified jobs for accountants and payment representatives.
Most important, the hospital is experiencing the effects of a nationwide shortage of nurses and hospital technicians, he said.
“We get a lot of applications for clerical jobs, but RN’s are in demand across the nation,” Gentile said. “Volume can be tough at times.”
The large number of restaurants in the area also has created a need for workers in customer service and retail positions.
Ron King, recruiter for Taco Bell, said the chain is looking for store managers and district managers.
“We would like them to have management experience, and it doesn’t have to be in food or retail,” he said. “There are getting to be fewer and fewer of these people available.
“Finding experienced people is difficult because these people are working. There is not as many people looking for a job.”
Vickie Stradwick, general manager of Tim Hortons on National Road, said her restaurant is looking for “happy people” who are skilled in customer service.
“You also have to be calm in stressful situations, and focus on one customer at a time,” she said.
Erikka Storch, president of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber supports those who need jobs in finding employment.
“This is the slow time before the (expected) hiring boom and the cracker plant,” Storch said. “After this, there will be a great deal of competition among employers.”