WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Downtown Association’s Linda Haglund spends her days talking to business owners. Part of her job is figuring out how the nonprofit organization can help its members.
At the moment, the discussion is all about finding workers.
“I am hearing a consistent issue and that is finding help,” she said. “It’s across industry sectors. Not just food service.”
Haglund’s WDA and the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce are putting their problem-solving skills into action by sponsoring an in-person job fair — set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 23 at the Wenatchee Convention Center.
It’s the first time the two business organizations have partnered on a job fair — at least in the past 10 years, Haglund said, though the chamber has organized similar events before.
They are now looking for businesses of all types and sizes interested in reserving a booth to promote any and all open positions, whether part-time, full-time or seasonal jobs. The event is free for businesses and job hunters.
The hope is the Community Job Fair will be attended by community members looking for work, students and recent graduates, who will interact with employers to learn about opportunities available in the Valley, according to a press release sent Tuesday by the chamber.
Haglund said she isn’t sure why finding employees has been such a challenge as the economy gears up to reopen from the pandemic.
“Some are struggling with calling their employees back because they are making more money on unemployment,” she said. “Some are just simply tired and stressed from the last year of COVID crazy and are struggling to get the word out about hiring.”
Her goal with the job fair, she said, is two-fold — to connect people looking for jobs to businesses who need help, and to “shine a light on this issue.”
“People are assuming this is all about the unemployment options right now, and I don’t necessarily believe it is all about that. I have talked to people who said they are not hearing of open jobs. There are people in this valley who want to work. No better time to find a good job, in my opinion.”
The location provides plenty of space for job providers and job seekers.
“We want as many as we can possibly have,” she said.
The Chelan-Douglas Health District also will be onsite at the event to administer Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to anyone 18 and older who is interested. Appointments are not required.
To sign up for a booth at the job fair or for information, call the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce at (509) 662-2116, or the Wenatchee Downtown
Association at (509) 662-0059.