SEBRING — U.S. Navy veteran Justin Altman kept his options open Wednesday as he walked around at the CareerSource Heartland job expo.
Altman said that while he’s had experience working for a call center, he was considering other types of jobs, such as those involving patient care.
As a veteran, Altman was given an advantage in recognition for his service. He and other veterans were allowed to enter the job expo 15 minutes ahead of everyone else.
But, to some extent, all job seekers at the expo had an advantage, as at times, the nearly 20 employee representatives outnumbered those seeking jobs.
“We just can’t find the job seekers,” Colleen Dukes, business operations manager at CareerSource Heartland, said. She said they try to get the word out in various ways, including social media.
“We promote it every way possible,” Dukes said.
While part of the problem is finding the job seekers with the right skills, she said, the lack of job seekers goes beyond that because many of the jobs being offered don’t require a lot of skills.
“We have jobs from no (special) skills to high skills,” Dukes said. “There’s everything you can imagine.”
Some of the employers featured at the expo were looking to fill 20 to 30 positions. Those included Burger King.
Many of the jobs related to health care, a field that provides an above average share of the jobs in Highlands County.
Other job areas included manufacturing, agriculture and even corrections.
The DeSoto County Correctional Institute had multiple positions open for correctional officers, said Sgt. Victoria Steele, a recruiter.
“We’re looking for qualified applicants with a good work ethic,” Steele said. They would have to pass background checks and meet other requirements, she said.
Ron Scott, a job seeker, said he was primarily looking for a warehouse or a customer service job. He had never considered working at a prison. But after talking with Steele, he said, it might be a possibility.
In the health care field, Caresync was looking for 20 to 30 nurses or nurse aides, said Linda Daigle, a recruiter. She said the positions required being certified and a care coordinator.
Those hired would talk with patients about their diagnosis and the medicines they were taking, she said.
After an hour at the expo, she said, she had two candidates she planned to refer for interviews.
Judy Spiegel, who was recruiting for Lake Placid Health Care, said they wanted to fill numerous positions, including nursing and maintenance jobs.
She said that for a certified nursing assistant job, Lake Placid Health Care would provide full training.
Nick Roberts, who was recruiting for Sea Hawk Boats, said the company had positions open for a fabricator and a welder. Both positions require experience, he said.
It has been challenging to find qualified employees, he added.