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Meetings to connect job seekers with local employers

by David Cole
| November 4, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - A group of businesses are planning to restart "Meet the Employers - Coeur d'Alene," a monthly meeting that brought job seekers and employers face to face.

Those meetings ended earlier this year because of poor turnout, organizers said.

The goals of the meetings are to help fill positions for businesses and also help people get jobs. Employers also can provide job seekers with professional feedback and guidance that might help in their search.

The meetings are free to both businesses and job seekers.

Brittany Kirking, recruiter of West Corp., said the monthly meetings started in May at the Idaho Department of Labor office at 1221 W. Ironwood Drive, in Coeur d'Alene, but only lasted through the summer.

Similar meetings in Spokane have drawn better attendance, she said.

"We're planning to raise awareness about the meetings in Coeur d'Alene and get information out there in the next couple months," Kirking said.

Organizers are anticipating the meetings re-starting in January. They plan to have the meetings the fourth Wednesday of every month. They'll run from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The meetings have included employers such as Kootenai Health, Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Idaho Forest Group, Sunshine Minting Inc. and West Corp., Kirking said.

"It's a mixed group of employers that can answer questions that job seekers might have," Kirking said. Job seekers tend to get more and better information in meetings with prospective employers that are actually making hiring decisions regularly.

Some of the other businesses involved in past meetings have included Kelly Services Inc., Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Acranet, Provisional, Primerica, Sage Truck Driving School and ITT Technical Institute, Kirking said.

"For the businesses, the meetings also are an opportunity to get their name out there," she said.

Cheryl Eaton, vocational consultant at SL Start, in Coeur d'Alene, which helps people with disabilities get jobs, said, "Everybody out there looking for a job right now should be at these meetings. Job seekers get good feedback about what they might be doing wrong if they're not getting jobs they're after."

She attended two of the meetings this summer and was surprised at the low turnout by job seekers.

"It's such a good thing," she said. "You get to meet the employers face-to-face, so they can put a face with the name" seen on an application or resume.

Information: Brittany Kirking at bskirking@west.com, and Kristi Wagoner at kwagoner@kmc.org.

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