Montpelier, Vt. – Supporting the next generation of Vermont workers is vital to helping employers find long term solutions to their talent gaps. The Vermont Department of Labor and Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC-VT) have partnered with this goal in mind, seeking to increase exposure to entry points for careers in construction and related trades.
“As we work with jobseekers and employers throughout the state, the Department of Labor continues to look for innovative ways to bring folks together”, said Commissioner Michael Harrington. “Construction continues to be an industry of need in our state and partnering with an organization like AGC-VT allows us to better support employers and reach more interested jobseekers.”
The partnership is headlined by the Vermont’s Largest Career and Job Fair on Tuesday, April 26, but also includes other hiring events and workforce development initiatives.
“The biggest need our employers have right now is finding and retaining talent. Between our job fair and the other programs that we have going, we are looking to help them find ways of growing, retaining, and cultivating talent,” said AGC-VT President Chris Magnan of NICOM Coatings. “Having the Department of Labor partner with us is of tremendous value as we seek to fill the talent and workforce gaps in our industry.”
With a high need for talent in construction careers, AGC-VT has developed a new take on the traditional model of career events. Hiring Pits, which are smaller, fast paced hiring events, allow for greater interaction between jobseekers and employers than the traditional single employer event. Jobseekers are introduced to multiple-sector employers and speak with key representatives and recruiters from the companies. Employers are able to conduct a short interview, asking questions to better evaluate the jobseeker as a potential employee. By the end of the process, both the jobseeker and employer have the potential to come away from the session with what they were looking for - their next best job or employee, respectively.
“With the Hiring Pits, especially when it’s more targeted, jobseekers are guaranteed to sit down with a prospective employer, and the prospective employer is guaranteed to sit down with jobseekers”, said Jim Halavonich of Kingsbury Companies, which participated in a recent Hiring Pit event with AGC-VT. “That face-to-face, and more of a dedicated ‘I’m going to be able to sit down with this person’ makes it more beneficial for all those involved.”
In addition to stand alone Hiring Pit events, AGC-VT will host Vermont’s Largest Career and Job Fair on Tuesday, April 26 from 10am-6pm at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. The job fair will be in a traditional format, featuring booths and recruiters with employers from across industries - construction, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, etc. – but will also include three Hiring Pit sessions.
Those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet in-person with more than 150 employers, with many of those participating holding on-site interviews and making offers to applicants. Department of Labor local career specialists will also be available to answer questions from jobseekers, including for guidance on interviewing and how to find employers that match their skills, interests, and experience.
For more information about Vermont’s Largest Career and Job Fair, including details on how to pre-register, visit AGCVT.org. Those looking for additional career resources may contact the Department of Labor by calling 802-828-4394 or visiting Labor.Vermont.gov/Jobs.