March 25, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Hundreds of Southern Illinoisans filtered through the doors of the Donald L. Brewer Gymnasium and Convocation Center Wednesday morning to participate in the 20th annual John A. Logan College Job Fair.

Event coordinator, Lisa Hudgens, who is Career Services director at the college, said she was pleased to see 80 of the registered 85 employers set up shop at the fair.

“There’s been a steady flow of patrons all morning long. The idea is to help people looking for work establish some contacts and to help the employers find suitable candidates for job vacancies. I think we accomplished that today.”

Last year, Monte Kuhnert with Wells Fargo financial investments in Carbondale, hired Maggie Szyfer as a marketing assistant after meeting her at the job fair.

“I was looking to add an assistant and hired Maggie a couple of weeks after meeting her at the fair,” Kuhnert said. “She dressed very professionally and I liked her personality. I knew that she understood customer service when she told me she had been a server at Golden Corral. She’s been with us almost a year now and has been a very nice addition.”

Rachel Spittler of Carbondale said she attended her first job fair when she was a student at Logan in 2009 and 2010. Five years later, she is searching for that “right fit.”

“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do,” she said. “Preferably something in business to match up with my business management degree. Coming to the fair is an opportunity to broaden my horizon. It’s always nice to see what might be available.”

Frank L. Henson of Carbondale said that he plans to attend Rend Lake in the fall to pursue a degree in architectural technology.

In the meanwhile, he was hoping to land some part-time work.

“I have a background in construction engineering, so I thought I would come here to the fair to see what might be available,” Henson said. “Something that pays a living wage would be nice.”

Earnest Metcalf, also of Carbondale, said he, too has an engineering background and was hoping to make a connection at the fair.

“I checked in with the Illinois Department of Transportation for starters. I’m making the rounds,” he said.

Melanie Triffo is Human Resources manager with Pepsi Mid-America in Marion. She said job fairs like the one at Logan allow the company to stay better in touch with area residents.

“We have a lot of different positions – both entry level and mid-management – open for hire right now,” she said. “So, I’m hoping that we can find some qualified applicants here today.”

Triffo said most job seekers were surprised to learn of the volume of employment opportunities at Pepsi.

“I think we opened some eyes today,” she said.