Looking for a job? Now is the time

Middletown High School teachers Christa Wilson (right) and Jake Senft (middle) learn more about manufacturing steel tubing as part of a new program putting non-tech area teachers into local industries so they can better explain job and career options to their students. Butler Tech's new Manufacturing Educator Externship Team (MEET) program includes participating companies like Middletown-based Phillips Tube Group where they recently spent an eight-hour shift. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Middletown High School teachers Christa Wilson (right) and Jake Senft (middle) learn more about manufacturing steel tubing as part of a new program putting non-tech area teachers into local industries so they can better explain job and career options to their students. Butler Tech's new Manufacturing Educator Externship Team (MEET) program includes participating companies like Middletown-based Phillips Tube Group where they recently spent an eight-hour shift. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Montgomery County hosts job fair Wednesday

Now is the time to find a job if you are looking for one, experts said, as many employers desperate for workers are offering incentives to entice workers back on the job.

“We’re really encouraging people, even though you still might be getting some unemployment, if you’re willing and able, now’s the time to jump back in before it gets flooded and this thing flows back around,” said Doug Barry, president of Barry Staff, a staffing agency in Dayton and Springfield.

Barry doesn’t expect the staffing shortage to end anytime soon, but he does expect it to end eventually. When it does, some of the incentives that workers are seeing now — like extra pay and signing bonuses — may disappear.

However, he noted that some workers might also be having a hard time finding child care, have worries about contracting COVID-19 or have some other reason why they are not ready to go back to work.

For those looking for jobs, Montgomery County is holding an online summer job fair from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Dozens of employers have signed up. People can register for it by visiting www.TheJobCenter.org/JobFair. There is no cost to attend the job fair and this event fulfills Ohio’s work search requirement to receive unemployment benefits.

ExploreOhio’s unemployment climbs as employers cut workers

Mike Zimmerman, spokesman for Montgomery County Business Services, said the county expects a high number of people to come to the job fair because the state is ending additional unemployment benefits on June 26. More than 70 companies have now signed up for the fair.

“There’s a lot of companies out there, hiring for a lot of positions right now, and we just really hope that people take advantage of this opportunity because these companies are looking to hire like, right now,” Zimmerman said.

Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman said the virtual job fair will include “some pretty heavy hitters” in the region.

“These are some great employers,” she said. “So this is a great opportunity to meet representatives that are hiring for these open positions.”

Many people left the work force last year at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as the shut downs closed many businesses, parents had to care for children home from school or child care centers and workers worried about their health. Now that vaccines are available and many of the state orders around the COVID-19 pandemic have been rescinded, the economy is reopening and jobs are going unfilled.

ExploreDayton racino holds job fair, offers $750 signing bonus

Some employers, desperate for workers, have offered incentives unlike any they have before. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway says new employees are eligible for a $750 sign-on bonus once they have completed their first 90 days of employment. The raceway has multiple job openings available.

The company will also be at the job fair Wednesday.

With extra unemployment benefits ending this week, Wright State economics Professor Kevin Willardsen said he believes that may also begin to incentivize people to go back to work. He cautioned, however, that the return of workers will likely be slow.

“I don’t expect that would be a flood of workers, but I do expect workers to come back into the back into the workforce,” he said.

Staff writers Chris Stewart and Tom Gnau contributed.