Residents seek employment during job fair


A job fair organized by Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. recently took place in two separate two-hour time windows in the Seymour High School parking lot.

Jackie Hill, workforce partnership director for JCIDC, worked to organize the event July 29 after finding many local employers had open positions.

“We’ve been communicating with our companies throughout the whole pandemic, and there were several companies that were deemed essential and remained operational, and the others that had shutdown are now back, so they’re pretty much all back at 100%,” Hill said. “They’re back to needing employees, they’ve had some that haven’t come back because of the pandemic or other reasons, so they’re all hiring.”

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Hill estimated the turnout near the end of the final session to be around 60, a result with which she was pleased.

“It has been a great day. We’ve had a lot of people come through,” Hill said.

Companies represented at the event included Cummins Seymour Engine Plant, Pet Supplies Plus, Aisin USA Mfg. Inc., Aisin Drivetrain Inc., O and k American Corp., Walmart Distribution Center and Rose Acre Farms.

Lisa Gibson of Aisin Drivetrain in Crothersville said while the company has been growing recently, the pandemic has cost them employees needed for the expansion.

“We did lose some during the COVID situation, and some have just been changing jobs, but we’ve had a lot of new business with our company,” she said. “We’ve got an electric water pump that we’re starting to manufacture, and we’ve got an electric axle coming along, so we’re growing.”

Nakema Wingate with Walmart Distribution Center in Seymour said the facility is looking to expand its staff to deal with increased demand for products caused by COVID-19.

“We are growing the number of people in our building, so we have more people in our building than we’ve had in a long time,” she said. “We have a lot of volume that needs to be taken care of. We’ve got to make sure we get it to the stores.”

“Hosting any event aiming to gather people during this time comes with obvious safety concerns. This is something Hill was sure to be careful of. In addition to large amounts of spacing between booths, other safety measures were taken.

“We required masks at the check-in. We’re also taking everybody’s temperature. We’ve supplied masks,” Hill said.

With this event being deemed a success, Hill said the door is open for others in the future.

“This could be the first of maybe additional ones, maybe in other locations now that we know that we can pull something like this off. We might expand and have additional ones. We’ll research and investigate other ways to do these types of events,” Hill said.

“Obviously, the high school was kind enough to let us use their parking lot, but there might be another location that may be more accessible to people for us to look at,” she said. “But it was our first attempt at trying this, so we feel like for the first time, it was OK.”

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