MEDINA TWP. — Medina County doesn’t have a jobs problem.
It has a workforce problem.
That was the consensus Tuesday when the Medina Economic Development Corp. hosted its annual Employer Resources Expo at Weymouth Country Club.
“This is our third and we actually have 51 vendors this year that are able to solve your workforce problems,” Kathy Breitenbucher, economic developer with the organization, said during the event.
Breitenbucher said there has been some confusion regarding the purpose of the event, which essentially serves as the opposite of a traditional job fair.
“A job fair, a job seeker comes and talks to companies about getting a job,” she said. “This is about people who can solve the workforce problem.
Breitenbucher said Medina County continues to experience workforce shortages.
“We are still in the same place, our companies are definitely growing and still need a lot of workers,” she said.
Breitenbucher said about 73 percent of open positions in Medina County are for entry level jobs that do not require an established set of skills.
“It is in all fields, it is everything from retail to banking to health care to manufacturing,” she said.
Breitenbucher said the expo is designed to showcase all aspects of solving the workforce problem.
“This may be a drug rehab program that is working with people who are ready to get back in the workforce, or Jobs and Family Services or Jobs for Ohio graduates that are working with candidates to help them get into the workforce,” she said.
“It is also employment law and benefits and training and all of those kinds of organizations that can help solve any workforce problem,” Breitenbucher added.
Peggy Brown of Cooperative Community Services said it was the first time the Lodi-based organization participated in the event.
Brown said the organization serves as a liaison between an individual that needs help finding a job or other concerns such as medical needs, and then helps connect them with an organization or individual that will be able to help them.
“We came here not to hire people, but just to spread the word out about what we do,” Brown said.
Cooperative Community Services has an individual available to assist community members 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
Bob Young of the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities said the organization works to match up adults with developmental disabilities with jobs.
“We are trying to make connections today with employers that are needing staff,” Young said.
Young said the organization has special needs individuals that work a variety of jobs, anything from food service and working at a golf course to operating a tow truck.
“We take a look at people’s skills and try to match their skills with the employers and try to make sure that it is a good fit for both the company and the individual,” he said.
Four Cities Compact director Roger Wright said the organization, which teaches career tech classes in Wadsworth, Barberton, Norton and Copley, participated in the expo as a way to promote employment opportunities for its graduates.
“We have about 750 students, 19 different programs,” Wright said. “This is just a great opportunity for us to get in front of people that are looking to hire.”
Wright said the compact’s programs that received the most inquiries include machining, engineering and design, robotics and programming, cyber security and its two nursing programs.
Breitenbucher said she has received positive feedback from the vendors participating in the expo.
“The people who come really love it,” she said. “We have companies that come every year and learn new stuff.”