Local job fair draws a crowd

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Organizers believe that a job fair Wednesday in Blair County could set a record.One hundred prospective employers were there looking for workers and they were joined by a large number of people looking for jobs.

This year, 400 people in blair county lost their jobs. That includes the 200 positions that disappeared when North American Communications closed and the 100 layoffs at Norfolk Southern in September.

Still, the jobless rate in the county stands at a low 3.9 percent so there are plenty of employers looking to hire. Those companies filled the floor of the Jaffa Shrine.

The largest group–about 18-percent were recruiting healthcare workers, but a significant number were looking for employees to fill manufacturing jobs–like those that disappeared this year in Blair County.

“The good news is that those skills, that those workers have a lot of them are pipefitters, they’re machinists, they’re welders, those jobs are really needed in the area right now so we expect that a lot of those folks will be absorbed into the local workforce,” said Gwen Fisher, Site Administrator of Pa CareerLink in Blair and Bedford Counties.

Fisher added that there are also a lot of jobs for CDL drivers.

The job fair was hosted by the Blair County Chamber, Pa Careerlink, the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation and Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board.

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