Valley businesses, it seems, have been much more proactive in trying to fill hundreds of vacant positions. They must to be considering the worker shortage many still face.

“Now hiring” signs and flags are seen as often along Valley roadsides as orange construction cones. Now we are seeing more and more employers showing up at job fairs ready to hire, sometimes on the spot.

Last week, about 60 employers were on hand for a job fair hosted by the Pennsylvania CareerLink’s Sunbury office. A handful of others are scheduled to participate in another job fair Thursday at the Union County Resource Center, an event sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday’s event, which will include the likes of T-Ross Brothers Construction, Apex Homes and Strong Pools, will include in-person interviews. It is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At the CareerLink fair on Friday, two employers tasked with finding new workers both said they were searching for 20 to 30 employees.

Sue Dorman, talent acquisition specialist for Furmano’s, said the lack of employees is actually hindering growth for the giant food manufacturer located in Point Township. Dorman said Furmano’s is searching for all types of workers, but a lack of forklift drivers — including six for one shift — continues to be a problem.

“We could grow if we could find folks to hire,” she said.

There is good and bad news with these events. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad.

Certain jobs require a given level of experience and some job-seekers were again off-put by the request, wondering how to reach that level if they can’t get in the door in the first place. Others continue to balk at mask or vaccine mandates.

Most of those looking to hire said potential employees have been receptive. Maybe it’s because federal safety nets in place over the past 18 months have expired, maybe because a tremendous opportunity has come to them or other peripheral things — child care, transportation — have changed and opened the door to new opportunities.

The bottom line is hundreds of jobs are available and there are hundreds of people not working. According to the Pennsylvania CareerLink website, it currently has 4,354 new jobs posted and 186,209 job openings. At the Sunbury CareerLink, there are 70 new jobs posted searching for 583 employees.

There is an understanding that not every job is for everyone. There are however, enough jobs to go around for everyone looking.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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