NORFOLK, Neb. – A number of employers met with potential future employees face-to-face at a career fair on the Norfolk campus of Northeast Community College recently.
The annual Spring Career Fair, sponsored by the College’s Career Services Office, brought together representatives from over 75 companies, agencies and organizations and approximately 200 students in the Cox Activities Center gymnasium.
Emily Workman, human resources manager for B Street Collision Center, which has six locations in Omaha and in the Kansas City, Kan, area, said her company looks forward to the career fair each year.
She said B Street understands the caliber of Northeast’s graduates.
“We have alumni who work for us and we know what kind of students Northeast produces. They are very employable,” Workman said. “They walk in day one as an employee versus walking in still learning the trade. They’re punctual, attentive … That’s a big reason why I’m here.”
Sand Creek Post & Beam in Wayne, which designs custom-built barns and barn homes, is looking for more computer aided design (CAD) designers, computer numerical control (CNC) operators, and production workers.
“It’s been great to get out here today to meet all of the students that are looking for full-time positions. I have been talking to quite a few – actually I got a few resumes already, so I’m very excited about that,” said Melanie McManigal, HR generalist.
Sand Creek Post & Beam has participated in past career fairs, but this was the first time for McManigal to attend. She called it a “great experience.”
“Because you get to talk with the students in person and get to share with them about all of the great opportunities that are available. COVID has not hurt us; we’ve been expanding. We are looking to expand the number of employees we have.”
Steve Anderson, of Concord, understands the value of the Career Fair. Although he serves as chairperson of the Northeast Board of Governors, he was among the employer-attendees looking for students who may have an interest working in the insurance industry.
Anderson said career fairs offer one-stop convenience for both students and employers.
“The employers appreciate that and the people I visited with said they are searching out the in-person career fairs because they know how important it is to meet the students face-to-face,” Anderson said. “I’ve seen a number of students coming in here - and to meet face-to-face is a great opportunity for them to have conservations with potential employers.”
Anderson said he is pleased Northeast Community College is able to offer such an invaluable service.
“We’re involved in some other career fairs and this is the only in-person one we could find; the rest are virtual. I want to commend the staff for putting this together and going through all of the effort.”
Meeting the students in a one-on-one session provided employers such as B Street Collision Center opportunities to hear from the students as to what they are seeking in a job.
“One thing that is interesting about our particular industry is that we aren’t hiring just auto collision students,” Workman said. “We hire mechanics, electricians, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) students. So, having this face-to-face interaction gives students a broader impression rather than a virtual setting. You’re a little more focused. Plus, it’s just great to see everyone. It’s such a great interaction.”
Workman said B Street will never miss a Northeast Career Fair.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. We’re going to keep coming back. The industry changes so fast on all levels, every industry, and Northeast keeps up with it.”
Rob Ramsey, with H & H Automotive, Omaha, visits with Northeast Community College students Grant Lambrecht, Pierce, (left) and Hunter Clouse, Norfolk, during the College’s annual Career Fair recently. Representatives from over 75 companies, agencies and organizations and approximately 200 students attended the event.