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Online job fair planned for local manufacturing business positions

SRMA, CareerSource Southwest Florida to host event Wednesday

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Jan 21, 2021

With numerous job openings in many career fields with local manufacturing companies, Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association has partnered with CareerSource Southwest Florida to host an online job fair.

“We are hoping to help people obtain stable, well-paying jobs in the manufacturing industry where demand for a qualified workforce is high,” Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association Board Chair Jeff Poirier said in a prepared statement.

A free online job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Those interested in attending must register at https://portal.premiervirtual.com/event/register-jobseeker/3530-srma-swfl-manufactures-virtual-fair.

He said the association enjoys doing job fairs and getting involved in the manufacturing side and proposed doing one in person, but knew there was apprehension due to COVID-19, which led to the partnership with CareerSource Southwest Florida.

“We are happy to partner with the Southwest Florida Manufacturers Association to facilitate this online job fair for local manufacturers,” Bill Welch of CareerSource Southwest Florida said in a prepared statement. “It fulfills our mission to connect employers with qualified, skilled talent and Floridians with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity.”

Some of the companies that will be present at the online job fair include Arthrex and Storm Smart. The open positions range from entry level to senior career opportunities in sales, buyers, clerks, front office, maintenance, welders and machinists.

In addition, the Center for Manufacturing Excellence and iTech will be in attendance to share information about on-the-job training programs, as well as continued education courses with employers and employees.

“There has been a change in the mind frame in regards to what this area has to offer,” he said — more than just the tourism industry.  

Poirier said something like COVID-19 upsets that mind frame and makes someone re-evaluate how the economy survives — focusing on manufacturing, a solid industry. He said when the pandemic first began there were some phone calls behind the scenes with some manufacturing companies, which started making shields and hand sanitizer.

“We definitely got the word out and had ample supply at the time,” Poirier said.

He said they hear all the time that having some trained employees in Southwest Florida is key, especially in keeping the manufacturing workforce local.

The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association is an advocate for manufacturing companies in Southwest Florida at the state level. He said they explore ways to intergrade the group at the state level for such things as grants.

“We are trying to share resources by networking a little more and keeping more people in the loop,” Poirier said, adding that the association also hosts networking and social events. “Keeping manufacturing local starts at the ground level.”

The association also creates relationships with some of the big manufacturing companies such as Arthrex to help bring in the smaller manufacturers.

For more about the association, visit www.SRMA.net, call 239-258-1385 or email info@srma.net.