Job fair attracts 200 people looking for work

Businesses are struggling to hire workers.

Lots of positions are open across Southwest Florida, but the problem is getting those employees through the door and actually starting.

They are participating in job fairs in hopes of finding employees and encourage people to get back in the office and out in the field.

On Wednesday, Florida JobLink held a job fair with about 16 booths where about 200 people attended.

While it was a good turnout, employers say the issue is actually getting people to sign on and stick with the job.

“As time went by the recruiting aspect, we would have a lot of people come out and say they are interested but would never follow through so that put a lot of hardship on us,” said Lisa Johnson, an HR specialist for G4Solutions, security solutions company.

“It’s a hamster wheel going all the time,” Johnson added.

Johnson said she thinks it’s become hard to recruit because working from home during the pandemic provided comfort to some.

Job fairs like the one on Wednesday give Johnson hope.

Karly Mixon, HR manager for Richard and Rice Construction, said it’s the same story in their field. She has traveled the state to hire people. Her Deerfield Beach-based company, on the east coast, has openings in Southwest Florida because of the demand.

“We are hiring all over the state of Florida,” Mixon said. “We want to take on somebody who is driven, strong-minded, a leader, willing to learn, invest in our company so we can invest in you. Urgently.”

Mixon said when COVID hit, her company went from getting 400 resumes to maybe 20 or 30.

“We give them a chance and it doesn’t work out,” Mixon said. “It’s very difficult hiring. This includes for office positions. Here we are hiring for supervisor superintendents but in our current office we are hiring for estimators, accounts, front desk.”

While it’s been a tough year hiring, Johnson and Mixon see a promising future.

“Ultimately, COVID has shown us we need to value our employees more,” Mixon said.

One man told Johnson that she would definitely hear from him.

“I think it’s going to come full circle,” Johnson said. “Things are starting to open back up, things are starting to get back out there. There’s less nervousness about people bringing the pandemic back to their family. So I think people are going to go out and take advantage of these hiring signs and job fairs and so I think we are going to see a good turnaround.”

“I feel hopeful … It’s going to get better,” Johnson added.


For more information on a career with Richard and Rice Construction, visit here.

For information on careers at G4Solutions, click here.

For a schedule of Florida JobLink job fairs, visit here.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
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