Job fair teaches people how to use bus system, find jobs along route

Local organizations banded together for several hours Monday to help residents learn about public transportation options and the numerous job opportunities along those routes.

Butler County Regional Transit Authority's Transit Job Fair saw approximately 60 people board R6 Job Connector buses to hear from area companies along or near the new route, including ThyssenKrupp Bilstein, StarTek, Barclaycard, Vinylmax, Interstate Warehousing and more.

Being able to talk about a company in such a setting means “tapping into a different market of people,” said Michelle Schmidt, human resources specialist for ThyssenKrupp Bilstein.

“People may think ‘Oh no, there’s no opportunity here for me because I don’t know how I’m going to get there’ so (this is for) the people who don’t necessarily have that reliable transportation that we’re asking people for,” Schmidt said.

Ashley Heard, of Hamilton, while dining on a free lunch provided by the program at its conclusion, said the career fair was helpful and provided plenty of information about different jobs in her search for full-time employment.

“The fact that it brings you around place to place and they help you with transportation for the jobs is a great benefit, too,” she said.

For Abby Severino, a Hamilton High School senior, the transit job fair opened a previously unseen and unknown realm of job possibilities.

“Now that I know that, I can actually get new jobs,” Severino said.

Hamilton High School Junior Katelyn Schnapp said the job fair was a good opportunity to view all the area places that are hiring those already in the hunt for gainful employment.

Teddy Spurlock, of Hamilton, said he regularly visits OhioMeansJobs-Butler County on Ohio 4 and was already aware of BCRTA’s job-connecting capabilities. He praised the transit job fair as “awesome idea” and said the free monthlong bus pass distributed to participants would greatly help his job-seeking efforts.

“That will help me get around and find my own job opportunities,” Spurlock said.

Melissa O’Brien, business services liaison for Ohio Means Jobs-Butler County, said the event marked the first time the agency, BCRTA, the city of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, Supports to Encourage Low-income Families and Community Behavioral Services had joined together for such an effort.

O’Brien said the transit job fair offered a unique way for employers to highlight their open positions.

“They had a captive audience. They had unique people on the bus,” she said. “It was different, it was fun. I think it was very successful.”

Joe Puthoff, president of Plas-Tanks Industries in Hamilton, said the concept of the transit job fair was “very unique and interesting.”

“The fact that they’re able to actually come out and see the business, see firsthand where we’re located and what we do, I think it’s great,” Puthoff said after delivering a five-minute pitch on the bus outside his business to help fill the five to seven positions available at the manufacturing company.

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