Job seekers, employers interact at Times Leader Live Career Expo

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Tuesday’s Times Leader Live Career Expo saw job-seekers “seeing what’s out there,” and employers seeking “who’s out there.”

More than 30 employers lined the concourse at the Mohegan Sun Arena, as hundreds of potential workers walked through, stopping to inquire about available jobs and what they pay.

“I’m looking for warehouse jobs, but I’m open to other possibilities,” said Tara Pieszola of Swoyersville. “I’m always looking to see what’s out there. With the cost of living always going up, you have to check to see what’s available.”

Pieszola’s comments were repeated from just about everybody attending the expo. And recruiters at each table were anxious to meet prospective employees face-to-face.

“Online searching for employees is very impersonal,” said Ann Ackourey, a Geisinger recruiter. “Here we get to meet people and talk to them. And it gives us the opportunity to let people know about Geisinger and what we have to offer.”

Ackourey and Fred Pierantoni, senior recruiter, said they were hoping to find candidates for a variety of positions, from entry level jobs to nursing and food service. They said Geisinger’s minimum starting wage is $15 per hour and shift differentials are available, as well as signing bonuses.

John McDonald, a recruiter for Altec in Plains Township, said he and Jesse Clark, service manager, were hoping to find candidates for technician and mechanic jobs that pay between $56,000 to $70,000 per year.

“We have two openings right now, but more could be open down the road,” McDonald said, adding that Altec employs 25 at their Laird Street operation.

Liz Revit, lead recruiter for Astound Broadband, said she was hoping to identify call center associates to work remotely or in the office on Baltimore Drive.

Revit said the jobs pay $15 to $16 per hour to start and commissions are available. She said a new training class begins May 8.

Interested job-seekers continued to flow into the arena to explore a number of exciting new career opportunities at the expo that began at 10 am and ended after 2 pm The expo allowed prospective employees and employers to meet face-to-face and employers could recruit , interview and make hires right on the spot.

“I’ve talked to many of the recruiters and they are very excited to participate in the expo and interact with other businesses and prospective job candidates,” said Times Leader Media Group Publisher Kerry Miscavage. “Some are ready to hire on-the-spot.”

The list of businesses who will be in attendance on Tuesday includes: Admar Supply, Allied, Altec, Astound powered by RCN, BCM Security Services Inc., Community Bank, Fastenal, Geisinger, Golden Technologies, H&K Group, Hydro, Institute for Human Resources , Kost Tire, LCTA, Leggett & Platt, Mature Workers, Meadows, Mount Airy Casino, Northeast Counseling, OnSemi, PA Career Link, Pennsylvania State Police, Pactiv Evergreen, Pickett Construction, Savello, Stubbs Landscaping, Wright Center, and more.

The event was free to attend for the public, and parking at the Arena was also free.

Trooper Martin Bibla was at the Pennsylvania State Police display. He said Gov. Josh Shapiro has made it a priority to keep Pennsylvanians safe.

Shapiro recently met with cadets at the Lackawanna College Police Academy in Scranton, where he heard from them about the challenges they faced and he discussed his commonsense budget proposal which invests in public safety and takes steps to recruit more police officers, teachers, and nurses to fill these critical jobs.

To address workforce shortages, Shapiro’s budget invests $24.7 million in job retention and recruitment efforts to specifically attract more nurses, police officers, and teachers, proposing a refundable tax credit for new workers in those fields and putting up to $2,500 back in their pocket every year for up to three years.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.