- Ohio Means Jobs of Coshocton County held its annual employment expo Wednesday at Lake Park.
- The event featured 57 vendors, including some colleges and military recruiters.
- Some businesses weren’t able to spare manpower to have a table. Unemployment in the county is at 7.4%.
- The event also featured food and activities for families from the Coshocton County Fatherhood Initiative and local child support office.
COSHOCTON — The story related to jobs in Coshocton the past year has been there are plenty positions open, but nobody to fill them.
An employment expo by Ohio Means Jobs on Wednesday at Lake Park was not only about linking employers and employees, but allowing businesses to network with each other. The annual event was expanded this year into a family affair with activities and food by the child support division of Coshocton County Job and Family Services and the Coshocton County Fatherhood Initiative.
The expo featured 57 vendors, which along with local employers also included some colleges and military recruiters. Shanna Stanton, business coordinator for the local branch of OMJ, said seven companies were only able to send applications and couldn’t staff a table because they couldn’t spare the manpower.
“Our unemployment rate is about 7.4% in Coshocton County and that’s climbed over the last few months,” Stanton said. “This year has not been a typical one coming off the pandemic.”
Some people were looking for a new job because they were out of work, while others were looking to elevate their position. That was the goal of Rhoda Kohler.
“I usually come to these whenever they have them to see what’s available in the community, but this is one of the best ones I’ve seen as far as turnout,” Kohler said.
Many businesses said if they came away with only one or two possible candidates, they would consider that a win. That included Tracy Parks of Interim HealthCare. She said they had openings for home health aides in the Coshocton office and need an administrative assistant for the New Philadelphia office.
“We know there are people out there, but do they want to work,” Parks said.
She said just being in public was a positive for them as they find a lot of people don’t know what they do or that they offer on-the-job training. So networking was important.
Noah Gallagher, manager of the Coshocton Papa John’s Pizza, said they were looking for drivers. However, they were also supplying lunch for the vendors and that’s a way he could build a customer base.
“We like to use this as a networking. We’re able to show our fellow businesses, we can handle your business if you are in a pinch and need to feed your staff, we can do that for you,” Gallagher said.
The expo is typically in September, but was moved up a month because of the need of employers and to coincide with child support awareness month. Jaime Freeman, child support administrator for Coshocton County Job and Family Services, said they wanted a way to put their services out there and show that they’re a community partner. Children colored pictures for a chance to be included in the department’s calendar for next year.
“As an agency, we care about our community. We care about the parents and the children,” Freeman said. “It’s part of the case management services we’re supposed to provide. If individuals talk to us and tell us they have a need, we always like to point them in the direction of Ohio Means Jobs.”
The Fatherhood Initiative provided bounce houses, hot dogs and bottled water for families. William Johnson, a chairman of the organization, said they are always looking to collaborate with other community agencies. Helping parents to find full-time employment to better their families is a big part of their mission.
“So many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. They were getting stimulus checks and unemployment checks. Now that those things are running out, dads and moms need to find gainful employment. If a dad is gainfully employed it always strengthens his family, which strengthens the community,” Johnson said.