Finding ways to deal with unemployment is a new ministry at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville.

Finding ways to deal with unemployment is a new ministry at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville.

Church members hope an Aug. 14 job fair will become an annual event.

Parish development director Helmut Naunheimer said the job fair is free and open to the public, and will include companies gleaned from the church's members.

"This is the first (job fair) we done and we hope to make it an annual event," Naunheimer said. "We started with just three companies, but last weekend we did a short presentation during the Masses encouraging those who work in markets where they know of job openings, and at the end of the weekend, we had 22 companies involved."

Parishioner and job fair organizer Tom Nann said he came up with the idea when he was unemployed and looking for a job.

"I was out of work. I was in the real estate industry and even the companies I went to work for, they'd be around for a year or so and fold," Nann said. "I said to a gentleman I was working with, 'Why doesn't St. Paul's have anything like an employment program?' So we tried to get something together and (church leaders) welcomed the idea with open arms."

Nann said that after experiencing the desperation of being unemployed firsthand, he knew that his church could do something to help others in need.

"To be honest, I was a month away from losing my home. It was exhausting my retirement monies," he said. "I knew there were people like myself who were in this situation, and thought 'why wouldn't this become a ministry that the church could do?' If it wasn't for St. Paul's, I really don't know how I would have made it."

Nann said the job fair will include many businesses located in Westerville and the surrounding area, and will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at the church, 313 N. State St. It will be held in the church's gymnasium, with the multipurpose room used for overflow.

Each company will set up a display where the public can sit down with company representatives, present their resumes and learn more about what sort of employment opportunities are available, Nann said.

"What upsets me most of all is that nowadays, many companies only accept resumes, and then try to make their decisions based on a sheet of paper," he said. "A resume should tell what you are, but not who you are. Be realistic, have an idea coming into the event of what it is you like to do and what you're good at, and do your research on the companies that will be at the job fair."

Nann said the companies scheduled to participate in the job fair include Independent Providers for People with Disabilities, Abbott Nutrition, AEP, MSX International, Intek Inc., the U.S. Protection Service, Miracle Motor Mart, JP Morgan Chase, Com Doc, CNB, Cherokee Information Systems, ManorCare of Westerville, BMW Financial Services, Therapy Advantage, St. Ann's/Mount Carmel, Parking Solutions, Apelles LLC, Progressive Medical, Two Men and a Truck, Excel, Alliance Data, and two separate representatives from the city of Westerville.

No pre-registration is needed. The church can be reached by phone at (614) 882-2109.