Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA – A reverse job fair was held Tuesday afternoon at the Fort Piqua Plaza in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Grow Piqua Now, the Piqua Chamber of Commerce, and OhioMeansJobs.
This unusual event turns a typical job fair on its head by inviting employers to visit job seekers with prepared booths complete with portfolios, resumes, and business cards. One of those visiting employers included Lisa H. Guyett, a human resource manager for Reliable Castings, Sidney, who discovered three jobseekers fitting the qualifications she was looking for and asked them to fill out an application with the company after the job fair.
Meanwhile, Julie Buschur, a human resources manager for Hartzell Propeller Inc., found the set up not only great but was impressed with the jobseekers, as participants spent a day training and preparing for the event. This included practicing job interview techniques, perfecting resumes, learning how to market themselves, and constructing a portfolio.
“It was very efficient, too,” continued Buschur who expressed similar sentiments as Justin Sommer, city of Piqua economic development director, that the preparation phase alone showcased the job seekers’ level of dedication. “They must be motivated to get a job, to keep a job.”
Not two hours into this first time event for the city of Piqua, 81 employers had ventured into the fourth floor banquet center to visit with those seeking employment. Matt Grigsby, a graphic designer with experience in customer service and from the Lima area, was one of those latter individuals. He came prepared with a display board, resumes, portfolio and even business cards complete with chocolate.
“(They) gave you all the tools that you need,” said Grigsby of the preparations for the event provided free to participants, and that the reverse job fair allowed for more face-time with employers (As opposed to the traditional format) and an opportunity for his personality to shine.
A secondary bonus, continued Grigsby, was the opportunity to network with fellow jobseekers and while most jobseekers came from neighboring cities and counties, one individual had made quite the trek. Melissa Brandewie, formerly of Fairbanks, Alaska, has family in the area who emailed her information about the job fair, showcasing how word of mouth and distance is no impediment.
For those interested in a future reverse job fair visit http://jfs.ohio.gov.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall