Low turnout at local job fairs, despite high unemployment rates

NOW: Low turnout at local job fairs, despite high unemployment rates

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It’s no secret that Michiana, and the rest of America, is in the throws of a worker shortage.

But, there are efforts in place to turn that around. At least three job fairs took place today in our area!

One in La Porte County, one in Berrien, and another in St. Joseph County.

Despite these efforts, thousands of jobs right here in Michiana are going unfilled.

Jobs.... There are a lot to go around these days.

“So we have 84 positions that we are looking to fill," Kimberly Karkiewicz, the St. Joseph County Gov. Offices HR Director said.

But despite high unemployment numbers, there’s still a low turnout at job fairs across Michiana.

“It can be anywhere from 10 to 15 individuals," Mary Morphey, a Michigan Works spokesperson said.

With at least 3 jobs fairs today, over in Benton Harbor Moprhey said there are more than enough jobs available.

"In SW Michigan alone, Berrien/Cass counties, we have anywhere from 1700 to 2000 open positions a week," she said.

So what’s stopping those currently unemployed?

"Unemployment benefits are being extended pretty constantly, the demographics such as an aging workforce do play a part in this," she said.

For David McCon, he’s just looking for a second job.

“I need a little bit more money for my family," McCon said.

But says the job market doesn’t favor those without degrees.

"The job market is good for somebody who has the experience," he said.

In St. Joseph County, I’m told there is a wide range of jobs open from white-collar to blue-collar.

"Some of these are part-time positions too," Karkiewicz said. “A lot of times people sometimes think that the position here at the county you might have to have some past experience, not the case all the time.”

And there are going to be even more job fairs soon. Morphey said one is happening next month in Benton Harbor with over 100 people expected to go and a dozen employers as well.

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