Organizers gear up for Vermont’s largest job fair

Vt. Department of Labor discusses need to fill more jobs.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:57 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:07 AM EDT
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ESSEX JCT., Vt. (WCAX) - Vermonters looking for jobs are putting the final touches on their resumes as the state prepares for its largest job fair Tuesday.

“Manufacturing, or you may be interested in public safety, or emergency response, the National Guard,” said Richard Wobby, with the Associated General Contractors of Vermont.

More than 150 employers will descend on the Champlain Valley Exposition Tuesday.

Wobby is touting this job fair as something never attempted in Vermont-- the state’s biggest hiring event. Wobby describes the task as simple.

“People from the workforce to actually connect with employers and recruiters,” he said.

But this isn’t just face-to-face conversation. Wobby wants Vermonters walking away with jobs.

“Our intent was that people have jobs by the end of the week and could show up on Monday,” he said.

WCAX talks with Richard Wobby from the Association of General Contractors of Vermont.

The Associated General Contractors say their partner, the Vermont Department of Labor, bought in from the start.

“The Department of Labor jumped in full bore and said if you’re going to try it, let’s try together,” said Wobby.

“The kickoff to the hiring season is here in Vermont,” Vermont Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said.

Harrington says now is the time to see what roles they can fill.

“Hopefully just get people thinking about jobs across all sectors and industries,” he said.

Harrington says the state has roles to fill in everything, but positions in construction, manufacturing, education, health care and hospitality top the list. He estimates between 13,000 and 15,000 positions to fill in the state.

“We had a lot of people choose the pandemic as a time to leave the workforce,” said Harrington.

WCAX talks with Kyle Thweatt with the Vermont Department of Labor.

He says a lot of those workers were set to retire or were close to retirement age and did so. Others switched jobs, going from the front lines to more “COVID-safe” roles.

“At the end of the day though, like many other states, we just don’t have workers to fill the jobs available,” said Harrington.

Harrington says this career fair is important because it gives those willing and able to work, the opportunity to shop around, Ideally finding something they can learn to love.

“You can literally shop around and figure out what type of career and what do you want to do for the rest of your life and how to advance in that individual sector and within that individual career you have mapped out for yourself,” said Wobby.

Doors open at 10 a.m. and will be open until 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Champlain Valley Expo.

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