Local News

Strong Attendance at Job Fair

(Westville, IN) - There was no shortage of opportunity where close to 30 manufacturers from Northwest Indiana gathered to try and fill job openings.


Co-workers Alaiyah Langston, 22, and Tammy White, 51, both of Michigan City, were encouraged to discover the companies they approached pay more than what they’re currently earning for similar assembly line work they’re doing for another manufacturing firm.


“The cost of living is going up, and our pay where we are now is not,” Langston said.

White said a $4 an hour or more wage increase would be worth taking a job at another company with two mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay on a home she recently purchased.


The job fair by the Center of Workforce Innovations in Valparaiso was held Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Purdue Northwest Campus near Westville.


Barb Grimsgard, Director of Communications for CWI, said manufacturers are primarily looking to fill entry-level positions, but some companies have more openings for mid-level jobs.


In many cases, Grimsgard said the need for qualified and reliable workers remains high, but finding them has become more challenging. Grimsgard believes some people who didn’t work during the pandemic are interested in earning a paycheck again but not with their former employer or occupation. She said that priorities have changed for some workers, and the current job market provides them with more choices.


“They had time to assess what they really want to do. They assessed what’s important to them. They realized I haven’t been working but we managed. It really is a job-seekers market right now,” Grimsgard said.

Grimsgard said more people in the workforce are also looking at higher pay and a sense of being valued in choosing where they want to work.


Mariano Oliveri of Michigan City said a stable, fun, and enjoyable workplace ranks first on his job-hunting list. Oliveri, experienced in the hospitality industry and marketing, said he’s using his time between jobs to find a career more suitable to his bachelor’s degree in business and skills at dealing with people. But, right now, Oliveri said getting his foot in the door is more important than money.


“The only thing I want from my next employer is to recognize my efforts and, if I do a good job, reward my effort,” Oliveri said.

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