Job & Career Fair to feature more than 30 area businesses
Published 10:44 am Monday, April 18, 2016
Filling jobs. Developing careers. Educating.
Those are some of the goals of Dawn Thompson, director of human resources at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea, when she attends the Job & Career Fair on Tuesday at Northbridge Mall.
More than 30 businesses are expected to be at the fair, which will run from 2 to 6 p.m.
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Thompson said Good Samaritan is like many other companies across the region that are having a difficult time filling open positions.
She said Good Samaritan has jobs ranging from dietary workers, universal workers and nursing assistants to licensed practical nurses and registered nurses available.
“Everyone is having a hard time right now because there aren’t a lot of people out there,” Thompson said.
The Good Samaritan locations in both Albert Lea and Austin, plus two others, recently pooled their resources together to hire a recruiter. She said the recruiter will look for people who can’t be trained in-house.
Thompson, who has been a part of the Southeast Minnesota Workforce Investment Board for 13 years and works closely with the workforce center in Albert Lea, said she and others in the health care industry are trying to attract workers by showing them first-hand examples of what kinds of situations they will encounter.
At a recent Austin High School job fair, she said she took along blood pressure cuffs and taught the students how to take blood pressures. Riverland Community College staff have a simulation machine they can use.
“Experiences really help to attract them,” Thompson said.
She said she encourages high school students to become CNAs and complete their postsecondary prerequisites while still in high school and then apply for post secondary education at the end of high school.
LPNs are hired at $17 to $19 an hour, while RNs start out at $27 to $29 an hour.
In addition to nursing positions at Good Samaritan, there are also other careers people can pursue.
“We have business offices, we have insurance people, we have people who are dietitians, dietary management, health information management,” she said. “We have our own staff development person, environmental services.”
She said because statistics show that the workforce shortage may likely get worse before it gets better, her industry is going to have to rely on creative recruiting, particularly toward young people and minorities who are not presently working in the health care industry. They must also look for ways that retired workers can work fewer hours.
“Those are the only areas where there are people free to become employees for us that are not tapped,” she said.
She said working at Good Samaritan Society is rewarding, noting she enjoys supporting the employees, so that the employees have the ability to support the elders at the facility.