Can there be, as a county commissioner claims, hundreds of jobs going unfilled in Seneca County?
"Behind the scenes, there are roughly 400 jobs available in Seneca County right now that various area employers are looking to fill," Commissioner Fred Zoeller said Thursday.
The fact Zoeller also owns a company with manufacturing facilities in four states lends credence to the statement. If accurate, that number could have a significant inpact on the jobless rate in the county.
The county had a work force of 27,800 last December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that total, 25,900 were employed as the year ended.
The 1,900 seeking work meant the county had an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. If 400 of those job seekers filled the positions now available, that rate would drop to 5.5 percent.
That stat isn't lost on local officials. Commissioners, Seneca County Jobs and Family Services, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan are working to plan a job fair this spring.
"This is a great opportunity that we can connect area employers with perspective employees." Zoeller said.
The commissioner and CEO added he would like the job fair to include an educational seminar focusing on the importance of passing drug screening. It seems failed drug tests are a major obstacle to hiring workers.
Prospective employees also could provide an educational aspect. It would be interesting to hear what blocks them from seeking vacant positions available locally.
The proposed job fair is an opportunity for many entities to work together to find ways for employers and job seekers to begin working together.