Partnership of Westerville chamber, city makes safe job searches possible

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Area job seekers have the opportunity to connect with companies during the Greater Westerville Virtual Hiring Event from Thursday, Aug. 13, to Saturday, Aug. 15.

In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus and its current effects on the workforce, the Westerville Partnership, which is a collaboration between the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Westerville, Westerville Public Library, Otterbein University and Westerville City School District, is working with the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio and OhioMeansJobs Columbus-Franklin County to hold a virtual hiring and information event.

To register, go to omjcfc.org/westerville-virtual-event.

Janet Tressler-Davis, the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce's president and CEO, said this marks the first virtual hiring event in Westerville through the partnership.

During the event, participants may visit "booths" to learn more about companies and apply for available positions.

Employers will be available to chat live from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and access to the career fair is available from 8 a.m. Aug. 13, through 11:59 p.m. Aug. 15.

"Together we will host a three-day virtual hiring event and information sessions that will help job seekers within our greater Westerville area navigate unemployment insurance, obtaining employment, and accessing other resources such as day care, food and financial assistance," Tressler-Davis said. "We are excited about this opportunity."

The event is designed to provide the Westerville community an opportunity to connect with businesses that have available positions and are ready to hire without people leaving the comfort of their home, according to Tressler-Davis.

She said the platform used by the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services and the Workforce Development Board is impressive.

"This is a first for our community and a first for ODJFS and Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio to work with a community to have a 'community-centric' event," Tressler-Davis said. "We were excited they were willing to work with us to offer the opportunity for our employers to promote job openings, internships and journeymanships."

Windy Murphy, associate director of Business Solutions who also is with the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, said participating employers will include: ABB Inc., Chop5 Salad Kitchen, Concord Counseling Services, Corna Kokosing Construction Co., Central Ohio Transit Authority, Friendship Village Columbus, Fusion Alliance, Giant Eagle, GO-HR, Goldfish Swim School, Hattie Larlham (formerly ADD), Home Care Assistance, IKEA Columbus, KEMBA Financial Credit Union, Performance Columbus Auto Group and Westerville Area Resource Ministry.

Tressler-Davis said other businesses that are expected to participate include Worthington Industries, the Union Bank Co. and Mid-City Electric.

Murphy said the jobs the businesses are recruiting for should be posted on their websites.

A demonstration on what to expect during the job fair is posted at omjcfc.org/virtual-hiring-events.

"Westerville's efforts have been squarely focused for many months on helping businesses and the local workforce recover," said Jason Bechtold, Westerville economic-development director, in a press release. "This is an event to connect Westerville businesses with local talent who may be in need of a new position.

"This is an easy and accessible opportunity to plug into Westerville jobs just hitting the market."

Tressler-Davis said it is an exciting opportunity.

"This virtual event gets our community members in front of our Westerville area businesses that have job openings, internships and apprenticeship opportunities," she said.

Some of the industries being represented include social services, retail, banking, financial, manufacturing, food services, insurance and automobile sales.

There also will be a resource fair featuring nonprofit organizations that will share additional resources in order to help residents and their families.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla