More than 80 employers were at the college Friday morning with information and applications to hand out to prospective employees. Community members and students took advantage of the opportunity to get a foot in the door. The college holds the fair each semester in an attempt to connect people to companies. It’s typically well attended, drawing between 190 to 400 people, said Evette Thompson, coordinator of Career Services at the college.
“It’s needed in the community,” she said. “There are people looking for work, and some have a hard time finding it. This helps them network and share what they can bring to the table for employers.”
A variety of companies across industries were represented at the fair, including staffing agencies, state and county government departments, educational institutions, manufacturing and engineering companies and health care and home aid services.
Working World Staffing Services in Crystal Lake attends the fair each semester, said Marilyn Dahlmann, senior staffing consultant with the agency.
“It’s a great candidate pool, and that’s why we keep coming back,” she said. “McHenry County College puts on such a great job fair. It’s the nicest that we know of. It’s always well attended, and they care for everyone so well.”
Working World is a staffing agency that places people in jobs across industries, from manufacturing to office and customer service work. The fair is a good way to meet a variety of people and encourage them to stop by, Dahlmann said.
Karen Hansen of Huntley has been unemployed for seven months, but walked away from the fair with a few applications. She said that the job search has been difficult, but there were many companies on-site Friday that could be a good fit.
“I have worked with people with disabilities and seniors, so home health care,” she said. “I thought [the fair] was good. Everyone was really helpful and answered any questions.”
The McHenry County unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent, slightly lower than the statewide rate of 5.5, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
But there still are plenty of people in the area that are looking for work, said Sara Lindsey, career planner with the McHenry County Workforce Network.
McHenry County Workforce Network provides free job hunt help to those in McHenry County looking for work, including workshops, resume critiques, a resource room and training programs.
“There are a lot of people that are looking that no longer need unemployment. Unemployment only lasts 25 weeks,” Lindsey said. “Those people aren’t reflected in the unemployment stats, but they are still out there.”