By Jordan Gerard
Editor, The Caledonia Argus
For job seekers in and around Houston County, the opportunity to find a job landed a little bit closer to home.
The Houston County Economic Development Authority (EDA) hosted its first job fair last Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the La Crescent Area Event Center.
The event was not only important to job seekers, but to local employers as well.
“We wanted to showcase Houston County businesses or businesses with a branch in Houston County,” EDA Director Allison Wagner said.
The county had a good showing of businesses from Caledonia and La Crescent. Those included Merchant’s Bank, Caledonia Haulers, Caledonia Care and Rehab, ABLE, Inc., SEMA Equipment, Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Wieser Brothers Construction, Kwik Trip, Crucifixion Eagle Care, Ability Building Center, SpringBrook Village of La Crescent, Bauer’s Market and Garden Center, Altra Federal Credit Union and La Crescent Health Services.
Other businesses included ICON Constructors, LLC; Truss Specialists; ICAN, LL; Fastenal; Flex Craft; Educational Biometric Technology; La Crosse Transport Refrigeration, Inc. and Viterbo University.
The job fair was for both students and adults because some businesses were looking for summer help and others for full or part-time workers, Wagner added.
Lindsay Passig, Assistant to Safety/HR Recruiting for Caledonia Haulers said she was at the job fair because the company wanted to represent Houston County since they are a huge part of it.
“We can gather more local workforce,” she said.
Passig added it is hard to get younger people interested in trucking because there are a few requirements. Potential truckers have to be at least 23 years of age, take an accredited course and then train for six weeks with a driver before going on their own.
Each business had its own unique offerings for job seekers, such as Caledonia Care and Rehab who offer temporary housing for employees on a contract. The housing is useful for those who have a longer commute or those looking to relocate to the area.
Representatives Jessica Jacobson and Nicole Price said if they walked away with even one or two people interested in a job, that would be a win for them. They were hiring for certified nursing assistants (CNA), registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN).
“This is good for communities,” Jacobson said. “It brings local businesses together.”
Both said they would attend again if another job fair was hosted.