SCRANTON, Pa. — It takes a village to get people back into the workforce in Lackawanna County.
"We help job seekers. You have positions; let's do a job fair right here in Scranton at Community Outreach," said Jennifer Shoemaker, LEAD Center program manager at Outreach.
The LEAD Center at Outreach in Scranton held a job fair Wednesday with CANPACK, an aluminum beverage can manufacturer based in Olyphant. The company is looking to fill several positions for machine technicians, forklift operators, and quality-control specialists.
"We are set to go live with our fourth and final production line by the end of this year, so we are going to need 600 employees to operate these lines, and we are at 430 right now, so it is an absolute necessity for us to get to that number to meet our demand," said Carrie Krott, human resource manager for CANPACK.
The center is connecting job seekers with various employers across the area.
As the worker shortage continues, LEAD Outreach staff members say those looking for work don't know how to dive back into the job market or change careers.
"Coming to Outreach, we can help them with their resumes. We can help them find that opportunity. Some folks just need a little bit of assistance, a little bit of encouragement to say, 'You know what? I can do this!'" Shoemaker said.
One of those job seekers is Paul Syerandy. He tells Newswatch 16 that he's been working with the Outreach Center to prepare him to enter the workforce on a more regular basis.
"Since I moved here about three years ago, it's been all temporary positions, temp agencies, contracted work for different periods of time, but nothing long term," Syerandy said.
He tells Newswatch 16 that the search for work can be stressful, and the help he received from the staff at the Outreach Center prepared him for an interview with CANPACK.
"I wish I had visited much earlier, not necessarily for my own job search efforts, but for others to spread the word, which is something that I've been doing a lot more of recently."
Outreach plans to host more job fairs like this one in the near future with a variety of employers.
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