AAA  Mar. 30, 2017 11:00 PM ET
Wadsworth students see what jobs are available in county
  Ashley Fox
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Ashley Fox y The Gazette

Adam Rosenberger, human resources supervisor at 3M Performance Labels in Medina, said he was impressed Thursday with the turnout and attention from students who attended a job fair at Wadsworth High School.

“We’re getting good traction,” Rosenberger said. “We’re looking at it as an educational experience, an opportunity to get 3M’s name out there” as well as make the public aware that 3M has a location in Medina.

About 300 students who visited the job fair during English classes were able to talk with representatives from 28 businesses, high school principal Steve Moore said.

Teachers worked with students on resume-writing, interview skills and how to be successful at a job fair, Moore said.

The inaugural event was a joint effort between the Medina County Economic Development Corp., the city of Wadsworth and Wadsworth Schools.

Kathy Breitenbucher, business development manager of the county economic group, said the businesses from throughout Medina County represented a diverse group — manufacturing, service providers, social services, construction and nonprofits.

The job fair was one of the “out of the box” goals the economic group has been working on, Breitenbucher said, to get more people into the workforce.

“Our unemployment (in Medina County) went over

6 percent (in February), which is unusual,” she said.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that Medina County’s unemployment rate for February was 6.5 percent, up from 5.7 percent in January.

Breitenbucher said the Medina group is looking at the reason for the increase.

Speculating that job-seekers are re-entering the workforce, Breitenbucher said, “If you want to work in Medina County, there’s a job for you.”

Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh said the fair was the result of a manufacturers’ meeting with city officials. During the planning process, she said companies provided positive experiences with high school job fairs.

Breitenbucher said some teachers gave students “prep work” and assigned questions to ask business representatives to get students familiar with the concept of networking.

“One young man I know has a business” in the auto repair industry, she said. Thursday was an opportunity for the student to network to help his idea grow.

As she visited the tables, Laubaugh said she was “pleasantly surprised” at opportunities available.

“They are opportunities not only for summer, but also for after school, and many of them (companies) have opportunities where they do some internship or provide opportunities for training that could potentially lead” to something more permanent, she said.

Harry Stark, director of economic development for Wadsworth, said, “Being able to collaborate with the schools was a great way to support our local businesses and address workforce challenges.”

Rosenberger said 3M has summer positions that need to be filled, but “mainly we’re looking for students who are interested to go right into a manufacturing career after graduation.”

The company doesn’t necessarily need candidates with production experience, but rather people with personality and dependability, he said.

Moore said he received positive feedback on the job fair and was “hopeful” the fair could become an annual event.

Contact reporter Ashley Fox

at (330) 721-4048

or afox@medina-gazette.com.

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