October 3, 2022
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Annual Career and Wellness axes virtual fair; returns to in-person

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QUINCY (WGEM) – For the first time in three years, the Career and Wellness Fair put on each year by Great River Economic Development Foundation and the Young Men’s Christian Organization was back in-person for the first time in three years on Thursday afternoon.

The fair aims to connect new graduates with the local workforce while also promoting youth health.

The board game, LIFE, was the theme.

“The game of LIFE and when you think about that actual game, you know, there’s money involved there’s rent involved,” said GREDF’s Workforce Development Director Angela Caldwell. “There’s utilities involved and all of these different things. Well, we want students to remember, well you know, you’ve got to leave Mom and Dad’s house eventually.”

Caldwell said the amount of employers and health officials that came out to table exceeded expectations with 36 vendors at the event.

With over 100 positions to fill today, employers said they have been working extra hard to hire on new graduates.

At the Blue Cross Blue Shields table, representative Jordan Harrison said they were looking to hire 40 to 50 entry-level positions.

Harrison said they had about five to 10 stop by in the first couple hours.

“When people are driving by Blue Cross Blue Shields, they don’t realize how big we really are,” Harrison said. “We have over 800 employees specific to Quincy.”

Harrison said they weren’t surprised by the small turnout. He said nowadays they get about 75-100 applicants applying online. He said they still choose to go to career fairs for that in-person networking.

“Really, our purpose today was to come out and be a face in the community,” Harrison said.

Local health organizations also came together in hopes to educate the youth.

At Blessing’s Cancer Center table, Outreach Educator Stephanie Willey said she had crucial advice targeted toward the youth. It involved long-term skin care and the recent studies the effects of vaping are showing.

“When you are vaping, you are adjusting chemicals,” Willey said. “And the same chemical that’s used in popcorn to make it pop in the chemical you are using to inhale in your lungs.”

Caldwell said hosting expos in Quincy has been overall a real challenge.

“Yes, the unemployment is slowly but surely going down,” Caldwell said. “But still there are people who need these head of household positions so they can stop working two, three jobs and concentrate more on one and spend more time with family and friends.”

Caldwell said if you missed Thursday’s event you can call GREDF at 217-223-4313.

They can put you in touch with the employers at the fair today.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.



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