Those needing further training to find work learn of classes at Kenai Peninsula College.

Those needing further training to find work learn of classes at Kenai Peninsula College.

Employers, job seekers mix at Job Fair

For several years the annual Job Fair at the old Carr’s Mall has been seen as a sign of the changing of the seasons and an opportunity to pursue the changing or beginning of new careers.

According to Rachel O’Brien, Gulf Coast/Southwest Regional Manager for the Alaska Department of Labor &Workforce Development, employers attending this year’s event were eight fewer than last year.

“We don’t have as many employers here as we did last year and we do believe it was due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry, but we did have 52 employers today, we were happy with that because they were looking for workers and represented a wide variety of career paths. We had representatives from our medical community, fishing and processing, forestry, educational community and a cross section of our economic engine,” said O’Brien.

The Aflac duck was even present and looking for representatives.

“In talking with those gentlemen I learned that they have actually been having a hard time for quite a while hiring a sales representative here on the Peninsula, yet he said they have over 60 established customer accounts on the Peninsula and they have been having to fly people from Anchorage to service those accounts and that is preventing them from growing in the way they would like to here. So that’s tough for us to hear that from an employer when our job is to find work for Alaskans,” she said.

The Gulf Coast includes the Kenai Peninsula, Valdez, Kodiak and all areas in between and the downturn is indicative of the entire area she told the Dispatch.

As always the Job Fair was free and open to the public, many of whom brought resumes and were ready to interview for work. The turnout from the public according to O’Brien was on the high side and many folks not out of work but looking to transition to a new career.

“A lot of the employers have built-in job training programs or we can work with folks wanting a job transition to determine whether it’s appropriate to set up a registered apprenticeship where they receive on the job training and attend some classroom or on line training until they get the educational component required for them to be successful for an employer. We are hearing from a lot of employers interested in going in that direction because they get to grow their own employee so to speak,” said O’Brien.

The highest demand locally for workers on the Peninsula seems to be typical of what is happening elsewhere and in the lower 48.

“We are similarly situated as the rest of the U.S. in that the high demand is for all kinds of health care positions from medical assistants to medical doctors and everything in between. As the baby boomer population ages they are creating needs for health care from the next generation,” she said.

The Job Fair is an annual event. However, the Job Center in Kenai works throughout the year to connect employers with jobseekers as well as services to those prepping for work.

“We encourage everyone to use our resources and to work with the staff here not only for their next job, but for their next career because we can help with applying for specific positions, we can talk with you about something that may be your lifelong career and how to get there including financial assistance from the Department of Labor to help take care of the educational piece is likely to be required,” said O’Brien.

For more information call the Peninsula Job Center at 907-335-3010.

Tesoro has openings and much interest from those seeking jobs.

Tesoro has openings and much interest from those seeking jobs.

More in News

The deadline for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which comes from the fund managed by the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, is coming up fast, landing on March 31, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
PFD application deadline is Friday

Today is the deadline for Alaskans to file for their 2022 Alaska… Continue reading

Jonathan Parducho, a pharmacist, removes a tray of vials of of the Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox from a box containing 20 doses, in the vaccine hub at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Friday, July 29, 2022, in San Francisco. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Only 5 cases of mpox detected in Alaska

An epidemiology bulletin released by the State Department of Health on Wednesday… Continue reading

Owners Suwannasa Piwon and Phatcharin Apaipak sit for a photo at the new location of their Siam Noodles and Food in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo provided by Siam Noodles and Food)
Siam Noodles and Food to hold Grand Opening of new location

Siam Noodles and Food will open in its new location next weekend,… Continue reading

Signs direct visitors at Seward City Hall on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward mulls sale of electric utility to HEA

Voters will get the final say during a special election on May 2

A spectator throws a ball lost in the snow back down to Bridger Beck during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Clear it, and they will come

Photos by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion Above, a spectator passes a ball back… Continue reading

The 11th Annual Alaskans Choose Respect Awareness Event proceeds down Frontage Road in Kenai, Alaska on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaskans Choose Respect returns, LeeShore Center focuses on prevention

Nearly 40 people gathered and walked together down Frontage Road from Leif… Continue reading

Alaska Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce speaks at a campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough assembly to discuss Pierce harassment lawsuit

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will meet Tuesday in executive session to… Continue reading

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is seen on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough looks to mitigate flooding around Big Eddy Road

The Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to better mitigate flooding around Big Eddy… Continue reading

The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Tsunami warning test scheduled for Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of the tsunami… Continue reading

Most Read