VALPARAISO │ More than 20 employers welcomed job seekers Wednesday at a career fair at Ivy Tech Community College’s Valparaiso campus.
Companies looking to hire workers included ArcelorMittal, Aflac, Horseshoe Casino, American Family Insurance, Strack & Van Til and Strongbow Inn.
“Several colleges offer this service to their students and I want to continue that tradition,” said Mandy Chalk, Ivy Tech associate director of Career Services at the Valparaiso and Michigan City campuses. “I also think it’s important to have employers on campus to see we have quality students who can meet their workforce needs.”
Aco Sikoski, vice chancellor of the Ivy Tech Valparaiso campus, said it’s vital for the college to make a connection with local industries, businesses and nonprofit organizations and to realize the new skills being taught to students will provide the needs of employers.
“It’s very important for our students to see these companies present on campus,” he said. “I want our students to see that the economy is improving. The jobs are out there.”
Daniel Kudrna, regional sales coordinator at Aflac, said his company is actively hiring account managers and even set up interviews with several attendees that will take place at the Ivy Tech Valparaiso campus next week.
“We need to find talented people to help explain Aflac, especially how it places into the health care reform,” he said. “We’re looking for employees with great people skills. It’s a great opportunity and we promote from within.”
Representatives of Paul Wurth Inc. were also on hand looking for engineers, CAD drafters/designers, industrial mechanics and welders for its new Valparaiso-based service center. The company designs and builds equipment for local steel mills and repairs them at its Valparaiso site.
“We train them in our technology and equipment,” said Robert Steiger, Paul Wurth chief engineer. “Once we train them, we want them to stay.”
Job seekers included Steve Day, of Schererville, who was looking for something in his field of accounting and finance. Day, who said he takes online classes at Ivy Tech and is a current student at Purdue Calumet University, researched some of the companies at the fair prior to his arrival.
“One of them surprised me,” he said. “All my research led me in one direction, but when I talked to them they gave me information I didn’t know and that they are hiring for something I want to do.”