WILMINGTON — Two virtual job or career fairs are being planned, according to the county’s economic development director.
One job fair will be split up in order to have two groups of attenders, said Jennifer Klus Ekey, economic development director for the Clinton County Port Authority.
The first half of the event will be school-based for high school juniors and seniors to see what area jobs are available. The latter half of the day will be for adults — for example, for people looking to get back into the workforce after having been laid off because of the pandemic-impacted economy.
For this virtual job fair, there will be companies and employers from three or possibly four counties, she reported this week.
Currently, event organizers are looking at the first week of May to hold it.
More information on this job fair will be forthcoming when the specific date is nailed down, Ekey told county commissioners.
The other, separate career fair that’s getting set up will feature the Wilmington-based employer Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services (AMES), which is an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul provider.
Unlike the other job fair which is wide-ranging in terms of the variety of companies and industries that will be recruiting, this second event is specifically for potential employees with AMES. AMES has very specific needs and thus will have an event tailored to them, said Ekey.
The AMES virtual career/job fair will reach out to adjoining states as well as locally, said Clinton County Port Authority Executive Director Dan Evers.
On another matter Ekey announced the Port Authority will continue to partner with Ohio’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to bring an advisor to Clinton County weekly.
The SBDC is a small business assistance network that can provide no-cost consulting to new and existing businesses. It focuses on small and start-up businesses.
In 2020, the Port Authority had a six-month trial period with SBDC and has decided to renew the arrangement for 12 months so that businesses in Clinton County will continue to have access to SBDC services one day a week, Ekey said.
She said the outcome of the program was pleasing last year when, of course, business owners or operators were busy dealing with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic upon their businesses.
Business planning, business assessment, market feasibility, and helping an owner obtain financing are among the many topics in the scope of an SBDC business advisor. They can discuss these topics in free face-to-face meetings, electronically or over the phone.
As part of the SBDC network, if the particular business advisor assigned to a county has less expertise in a certain area, he or she can tap into a network of resources to assist a client.
Last year’s business advisor to Clinton County, Sangmi Kim, has moved on to other work, and the new advisor has ties to Clinton County. Jim Buckner’s background includes financial work, said Ekey.
For a number of months Buckner already had been counseling several Clinton County clients, primarily agriculture-based and involving import and export matters, according to Evers.
Finally, Ekey brought up the Port Authority’s recently launched website dedicated to local economic development opportunities.
Like all websites, it is a work in progress, remarked Ekey, and content will continue to be added to it, with a couple new features expected to be built in later this year.
“We’re getting hits,” she told commissioners.
Clinton County Commissioners President Mike McCarty was complimentary of the new site. He said it’s easier to navigate, and the content a lot more robust, than the Port Authority’s earlier online presence regarding economic development.
Visit the new website at www.chooseclintoncountyoh.org .
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.