Archive for Tuesday, April 14, 1998


April 14, 1998


If you're looking for a job, or if you're just interested in what the Lawrence employment scene offers, come to the Employment Marketplace this Saturday at the Riverfront mall.

The second Employment Marketplace will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Riverfront Plaza Factory Outlets.

The job fair, presented for the first time last June, provides an opportunity for members of the community to meet local employers and learn about career opportunities in Douglas County.

Gary Toebben, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce president, said the date was moved to the spring from the summer to accommodate local schools' schedules.

About 600 people attended last year's fair, and some brought resumes and signed up for interviews. People were given the opportunity to talk about job and skill requirements, Toebben said.

He hopes the fair can play the role of matchmaker for employers and employees both.

``Some companies and organizations don't actually have jobs available,'' Toebben said. ``They just want to let folks know what they're about.''

In addition, unions come to talk about their training programs.

The fair is sponsored by the Lawrence Journal-World, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence chapter of the Society for Human Resource Managers.

Shirley Martin-Smith, franchisee at Adecco, said the fair provides a great opportunity for people to discover job opportunities right here in Lawrence. She said a lot of people don't know anything about some of these companies in Lawrence.

The Chamber's Labor Availability Committee has tried to find ways to help Lawrence employers find good employees, Martin-Smith said.

The committee has found that employee shortages are common in certain types of jobs. There is, for example, a shortage of people in trade skilled jobs.

Other times, employers have found that applicants lack necessary job skills and work histories.

Julie Bryne, Adecco, said it's common for people to commute to Kansas City to work. They don't have time to shop for local jobs.

``The marketplace showcases companies. Its biggest purpose is to let the community know what businesses do in the community,'' Smith said. ``People don't have a feel for all of the job opportunities in Lawrence.''

Smith anticipates that more than 30 companies will attend the fair. This number includes a wide variety of jobs, as well as major and smaller companies.

``It just opens up opportunities for all walks of life,'' Smith said.

Because the fair is such a new concept for the chamber, Smith said the committee is comfortable trying out a different date for the fair.

Toebben said the chamber will continue to have the fair as long as the employers think it's worthwhile and the fair receives a good turnout.

-- Regina Cassell's phone message number is 832-7189. Her e-mail address is

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