Organizers of an April career fair expect participation from both job seekers and employers to surpass last year.
After less than a week of registration and with more than a month until the event, the Kokomo Area Spring Job Fair had 38 businesses signed up as of Thursday morning.
“Usually, we only have about 35 total,” said Jen Nichols, director of Career Services at Ivy Tech Community College, one of the fair’s sponsors.
The fair is scheduled for April 12 at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center.
Doors open at 10 a.m. for students at Ivy Tech and Indiana University Kokomo, another sponsor for the fair.
Doors open for the general public at 11 a.m.
The event ends at 3 p.m.
Nichols expected about 500 job hunters would attend.
Hiring companies will cover an array of business sectors, such as automotive, law enforcement, health care and hospitality, among others.
“It’s moral support for students to see that they’re hiring,” Nichols said.
The Kokomo area’s job market, like most of the U.S., has picked up over the past few years, albeit at a rate slower than many economists say is healthy after a recession.
In April 2011, a year before the upcoming career fair, Howard County had an estimated 3,271 unemployed residents, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
A year earlier, Howard County had about 1,300 more unemployed residents at 4,557.
The state defines “unemployed” as anyone without a job but looking for one. Unemployed people not looking for work are not considered part of the labor force.
Tracy Springer, IU Kokomo’s manager of career services and disability services, said students already have begun visiting the office for help preparing for the April job fair.
“I think they’re all being as optimistic as possible and interested in working with our office and how we can help them professionally,” Springer said.
• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.