ZANESVILLE — Tyler Goins is looking for a job closer to home. Donnie Pullie is hoping to switch careers, maybe even go back to school.
The Zanesville residents were just two of the hundreds of job seekers who turned out to the Southeastern Ohio Job Fair Monday at the Ohio University-Zanesville/Zane State College Campus Center.
Officials with U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson’s office — the congressman hosted the event — had expected more than 40 vendor tables and said those companies were hiring for as many as 4,000 positions.
Included in the mix of companies was Fanatics, an online retailer of sports merchandise. Fanatics already employs nearly 700 at its Frazeysburg distribution center and is looking to bring as many as 1,000 more on to handle holiday orders.
oins drives to Groveport almost every day for work at a Gap store, so he’s hopeful something will pan out locally for him. Getting some face-time with the dozens of employers on hand for the event is just the start.
“It’s an opportunity to see what’s available, what I might be interested in, so it’s a little of both,” Goins said.
Pullie said he wants to put his fast-food job behind him.
“I’d like to switch jobs either that or go back to school,” Pullie said, noting he was interested in Fanatics. But he also spent some time chatting with a representative from Performance Training Solutions. “I visited a few I was interested in, and I liked hearing about some of the programs for heavy equipment operating.”
Ohio Means Jobs Muskingum County Director Bob Mercer, one of the partner agencies that helped bring the event together, said events such as the job fair and an upcoming oil and gas expo are an effort to provide more one-on-one opportunities between job seekers and prospective employers.
“We’ve got the work force, and through these events, we can try to get the information out not only about the companies but the type of training opportunities that are out there and what these companies are looking for,” Mercer said.
Congressman Johnson said he wanted to bring employers and job seekers together in the same room to maximize the opportunity for both, and that was not lost on Angel Wade and Bobbi Rambo, both of Dresden.
As single moms and current students, it’s hard to keep up with the kids, schoolwork and still put feelers out for jobs, they said.
“It’s a great opportunity to find out what is out there, maybe learn a few things you didn’t know about some of these companies,” Wade said.
“And we’re able to hit more than one company, instead of wasting gas running back and forth to all of these places,” Rambo added. “We’re both single moms, and it’s just great we can come in here between classes and get some ideas.”
Johnson said he felt it was a great turnout and he was glad to speak with several of the job seekers.
“Muskingum County and all of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio has a qualified, hard working, and ready-to-go work force — many folks just need the right opportunity,” Johnson said.