As I arrived on the scene at our recent and first-ever Manufacturing Job Fair, it had the makings of being at a big sporting event… lots of people, plenty of energy, and certainly something at stake. At this event, however, the winners were everyone who attended. Everywhere I looked I saw one hand shake after another, plenty of smiles, and great connections being made between career seekers and regional manufacturers.
As you see by the photos, every inch of wall space had to be used on the north side of our Appleton campus to accommodate the nearly 470 visitors who attended the job fair. These individuals had the chance to meet with any one of 70 employers that were on a mission to find qualified candidates to address their workplace needs. Most of these visitors were our own students, and some of them were even bused here from Oshkosh. It was also great to see many faculty members join their students at the event.
Our Student Employment Services department and Manufacturing division did an outstanding job of putting on a world class event. I learned that the job fair had originally filled in about two weeks, and then we worked at creating extra space so we could welcome those partners that were on a temporary waiting list.
The first thing I noticed as I had the privilege of greeting the industry representatives was the energy level between prospective employees and employers. I learned again that this vital sector in our region is thriving, but needs more people. These employers took time out of their busy schedules to be here because they believe in the value that a Fox Valley Technical College graduate brings to the workplace.
So, if you have a skill or a desire to learn a trade in areas like automation, welding and metal fabrication, machining, electronics, mechanical design, and electro-mechanical technology, to name few, I can say that this is the time to pursue a promising career in the manufacturing sector. The energy and opportunities at this event had me wishing I was 18 years old again!