Job seekers gather at MCC for fair

Trisha Hansen is planning to move to Marshalltown from Cedar Rapids in June.

On Wednesday, she was doing all she could to make sure a job would be here waiting for her when she arrives.

Hansen was one of hundreds of job seekers who attended the Marshalltown Community College job fair Wednesday at the Student Activity Center. She was interested in office work and busy meeting as many people, and learning about as many jobs, as she could.

“To me, I’d rather have that face-to-face contact,” Hansen said.

A total of 51 employers were set at up the fair, including several of the major employers in town.

Lennox had a booth and the company was looking for temporary work on the factory floor.

Brent McDowell, labor relations coordinator with Lennox, said meeting candidates at the fair is almost like a quick interview.

“It starts the initial screening process for candidates,” McDowell said.

Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel had several openings to promote, from gaming staff to food service to hotel staff.

“We came to let people know of these opportunities,” said Terri Papesh, a staff member at Meskwaki.

An employer panel was held as well at the fair to give tips to job seekers on how to get hired. Panel members stressed that first impressions make a huge difference in the hiring process.

“They should appear and be professional right off the bat,” said Shaphan Smith, general manager of Menards in Marshalltown.

One other trait of a successful employee is the ability to do multiple types of jobs, said Doug Gervich, president of Gervich & Sons in Marshalltown.

“We look for folks who are very cross-trainable,” Gervich said. “Who can wear a lot of hats.”