While the majority of Wisconsin’s Job Centers are offering only telephone or virtual assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of people who are unemployed remains at a record high. The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (FVWDB) has announced the scheduling of two regional Drive Thru Job Fairs from 12-4 pm on Thursday, September 17, at the Fond du Lac St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store parking lot, 330 N. Peters Avenue; and the Menasha Job Center parking lot, 1802 Appleton Road, Menasha. These two Drive Thru Job Fairs are part of a statewide effort happening in 21 locations in 19 cities across the state on the same date and time. Job seekers are invited to attend the event closest to their home; although every location will have a combination of different employers and there is no limit to the number of drive thru sites someone can visit.
“Every single Wisconsin resident is aware of someone who has been impacted through reduced hours or a job loss as a result of the pandemic,” said Anthony Snyder, CEO of the FVWDB. “Many others may still be on furlough and not aware if they will ever be recalled to their old jobs. The time is now to take the first step toward a new career.”
While the July numbers from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Wisconsin state's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent from June’s rate of 8.9 percent, there are still more than 211,000 unemployed people in Wisconsin. This number is still too high, but because many local companies continue to be in a hiring mode, it represents opportunity for those who are uncertain about their future.
“With most of Wisconsin’s job centers offering reduced services and more than 200,000 people unemployed, we had to do something,” said Snyder. “We know that people are confused as to what their next steps should be in these unprecedented times and this is a safe, convenient solution to help get them started on their job search.”
This is the second statewide drive thru job fair conducted in Wisconsin. The first, held July 15, saw more than 3,900 cars in 16 locations across the state. The local site in Oshkosh was visited by more than 400 cars. Each car entering the lots on September 17 will receive a packet of materials listing open roles throughout the Fox Valley region and surrounding area. Workforce Development Area 4, includes the counties of Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago. Attendees are asked to remain in their cars and to wear a facemask. Staff handling packets, at both assembly and distribution, will also be wearing masks to help provide a safe experience for anyone attending the fairs.
“We are impressed by the array of companies that have chosen to provide information on open roles – from entry level to seasoned professionals,” said Snyder. “We have enough packets for 300 cars in Fond du Lac and 400 cars in Menasha and we expect to give them all away rain or shine.”
Information about job fairs that will take place from noon-4 PM on September 17, including all locations throughout the state and instructions for job seekers can be found at the following link: https://www.wwda.org/drive-thru-job-fair. Whether you are unemployed, underemployed or just unhappily employed, all are welcome. The Wisconsin Statewide Drive Thru Job Fairs coincide with the annual “Workforce Development Month” recognized every September.
FVWDB operates five job centers in the region. Currently, the best way to get staff assistance is to call the Fond du Lac Job Center at 920-929-3900 or the Menasha Job Center at 920-997-3272. Individuals who are unable to attend the Drive Thru Job Fairs are invited to use the data collection form at foxvalleyjobcenters.com to be in contact with the job centers.
For more information on the Fox Valley Job Centers or the work of the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, please visit http://www.foxvalleywork.org/or call 920-720-5600.