Brothers Jeremy Bellmore, 25, and Steve Bellmore, 28, came to the Aberdeen Area Job Fair at the Aberdeen Civic Arena on Tuesday with different motivations.
Both were looking at job opportunities, but Jeremy's main goal was convincing his brother to join him in Aberdeen.
"I work at Tecton Products in Fargo, but if I can find a similar manufacturing-type job here, I would move to Aberdeen," Steve Bellmore said.
He talked to representatives from 3M and the Molded Fiber Glass, which both had positions available. He was thinking about applying.
The Bellmore brothers were two of about 330 people to attend the job fair.
"Overall, it was a good fair," said Dan Thielsen, manager of the Aberdeen office of the state Department of Labor and Regulation, one of the sponsors of the event. "I think the employers were pleased with the quality of the candidates. The quantity of job seekers was down from some previous fairs, but I think that has to do with the unemployment rate being so low."
Aberdeen's unemployment rate is 3.2 percent, less than half the national average, according to the most recent state Department of Labor statistics.
The fair had 56 employers looking for workers, a new record for the fair, he said.
"Even with all the jobs lost at the beef plant, Aberdeen still has a lot of jobs available," Thielsen said. "The last time I checked at the Department of Labor, we still had 1,100 job openings."
There was a wide range of industries represented at the fair, including health care, construction, hospitality, agriculture, retail, insurance and sales.
One of the businesses which had a steady stream of job seekers was Schwan's Home Service. The Marshall, Minn.-based company is building a new distribution depot in Aberdeen's Industrial Park.
The company was looking to hire four sales people and one warehouse worker.
"I think we have had a lot of interest, because of the high wages we advertised," said Jeff Carpenter, district general manager.
Schwan's, which delivers frozen foods to homes in several states, advertised earnings potential of $35,000 to $80,000 a year for route sales representatives.
"We are hiring sales people," Carpenter said. "We don't hire drivers, and you can quote me on that."
He said that Schwan's was excited to be in Aberdeen and was pleased with the turnout at the job fair.
Warren Heitz, an RDO representative, talked to many job seekers about his company's employment opportunities. He said that RDO in Aberdeen had openings for service technicians and in sales. There are 220 jobs available companywide. RDO is the largest John Deere dealership in the United States.
Debra Reecy, human resource manager for Twin Cities Fan, also talked to job seekers. Twin Cities Fan had an opening for a maintenance mechanic and a robot welder programmer, according to Reecy. Both were skilled positions which required specialized training.
Reecy said her company's biggest hiring season is in the spring, when 15 to 20 extra workers often are needed.
"We are always looking for good welders," she said.
A wide range of job seekers was available for the businesses during Wednesday’s event. Travis Kirk had moved to Aberdeen in May from Omaha, Neb., to see if he could find a job with better pay. Although he had worked in a bar in Omaha, he was applying for a job with a construction company on Tuesday because he likes to work with his hands.
Leah Swanson, a recent graduate from South Dakota State University, was hoping to find a position in human resource management or in administration during Tuesday’s job fair. She submitted a few resumes and plans to apply for some positions online.
"I feel like I made some good connections here," Swanson said.
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