Drive-thru job fair offers Rock County employment opportunities

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 4:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Many across the Stateline saw their place of employment close during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving them stuck in the unemployment line but one organization is trying to get them back to work.

“I’m actually on unemployment right now, but I would much rather be working, I need insurance and other bills to be paid,” Job seeker Anita Fields said.

Amazon, SSM Health, and the Gazette have one thing in common, they are hiring. Trying to find the right people and do it safely is the challenge, so they’re trying a job fair with a twist.

“We all know that unemployment is going up but there’s still thousands of jobs that are still available from all spectrums in the workforce,” Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board CEO Rhonda Suda said. “What we wanted to do is recognize all of the employers that are currently recruiting but do it in a COVID-19 type of manner.”

Job seekers follow the cones, to a tent where masked and gloved volunteers hand out fliers.

“It’s just drive through, quick and fast not to many people touching hands, it is more of that scoial distancing that people want right now,” Job seeker Debra Coleman said.

With more than 70 bags distributed in the first 15 minutes, organizers agree, there is a need for jobs in the community.

“If we’re able to be a resource and connect to those employment opportunities, that’s what it’s all about and we know they are out there,” Manager of Workforce Development at Blackhawk Technical College Colleen Koerth said.

The Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board posted all of the fliers from participating job providers on its website.

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