Job fairs and strong reports show continued good signs for city, county efforts
The Laclede County jobs report for the month of June 2016 continued to show positivity. We had an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, the lowest June percentage since the same month in 2006. Our labor force also grew from May to June, with 186 more people added to the pool of available workers. This is largely a combination of those who haven’t actively sought work, beginning to do so and new high school graduates entering the working world. Regardless, it is all relatively good news. Our average unemployment rate for the first six months of the year was 5.6 percent putting us on pace to have our best overall year since 2007 when we ended the year with that same approximate percentage.
With all the good news, we still have people in the labor pool that need a new job and there are a couple of keynote events where job seekers can meet employers. U. S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler hosts an annual job fair at the Cowan Civic Center in Lebanon. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In years past, those looking for work have actually come away with jobs as a result of attending the event and meeting with area employers. So this is certainly a great place for the two sides to connect. More details on the job fair can soon be found at https://hartzler.house.gov/events.
Also, I encourage any employers reading this column to participate as you just may find the candidate you have been looking for. Steve Walsh, who represents Congresswoman Hartzler, regularly comes to Lebanon and can be reached via a local office telephone at (417) 532-5582.
Another similar opportunity for those looking for jobs to correspond with those offering jobs will take place as part of the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce/Lebanon Local Makes Sense Business Expo. This year’s event takes place at the Cowan Civic Center on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission and/or participation is the low, low cost of absolutely free and more than 4,000 attendees are expected. This is a dual opportunity for local businesses and entities to showcase their goods and services, and as mentioned with the job fair component, for attendees to learn either what is offered by the businesses or what jobs might just be open at the moment.
While that particular event seems far off, I encourage Chamber members to act fast and book your spot as they are filling up quickly and the event date will be here before you know it. If you aren’t a current Chamber member, here’s a great chance to join and participate in a popular annual offering right off the bat! Call Darrell or Jessica at (417) 588-3256 for additional information.
I hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable weekend and don’t forget to get out and vote this Tuesday in local elections!
(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)