By Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN — Companies spanning the spectrum from manufacturing and metal fabrication to banking and hospitality will be seeking applicants at a Job and Resource Fair being presented Monday, Oct. 23 by N.H. Employment Security. The job fair is running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army building at 15 Cole Street.
With the latest unemployment rate in Coos County at 3.1 percent, demand for workers is strong.
“It’s a job seeker’s market,” said Mark Belanger, manager of the Employment Security office in Berlin.
Belanger said there are lots of opportunities for people who want to upgrade their job options or are interested in re-entering the workforce. Available are full and part time jobs as well as year-around and seasonal positions.
Also available will be information on apprenticeships, vocational training, job training and education.
"We welcome the N.H. Employment Security Office Job Fair to the North Country. This is a great opportunity for the business, government and non-profit communities to interview potential employees for job placement. It further allows the vendors to explain their great job and training opportunities to people looking for work. The job fair is a great time to interact and ask questions to vendors about the job market, application process and potential growth within their companies," said Executive Councilor Joseph Kenney.
Among the companies scheduled to attend are Gorham Paper and Tissue, Kheops International, Mountain View Grand Resort, N.H. Department of Transportation, Northway Bank, Omni Mount Washington Hotel, Berlin Police Department, Federal Correctional Institute of Berlin, NSA Industries, Wild Cat Ski Resort, Deflex Innovations, NESCO Resource, Pak Solutions, N.H. Department of Corrections, Town and Country Inn and Resort, Black Mountain Ski Resort, Cherry Pond Designs, and A.V. Home Care Services.
The employment situation in Coos County has changed dramatically over the past decade as the region has adjusted from the mill closings and the national recession.
Belanger noted that back in 2003 the region was focused on future workforce development, anticipating that as the baby boomers hit retirement age there would be a shortage of replacement workers.
The focus shifted dramatically when the local mills along with Isaacson Structural Steel, Car Freshner and the Balsams Resort closed. The unemployment rate hit double digits and economy development officials focused on attracting jobs for unemployed workers.
Belanger said now his agency is working to guide businesses on how to attract workers. Companies are also looking at untapped potential workers such as retirees or those on disability.