With more openings than workers, Watertown job fair set for Thursday

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WATERTOWN — Cheryl A. Mayforth hopes she can fill many of the 1,800 jobs available at The WorkPlace’s annual job fair on Thursday.

But Mrs. Mayforth, director of the Jefferson County Department of Employment and Training at The Workplace, knows there’ll be more jobs available at the event at the Ramada Inn than job seekers.

“Nationally, there are nine job openings for every job candidate,” she said.

It’s the first annual job fair that The WorkPlace has hosted during the past two years because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Even with worker shortages, she’s encouraged that jobless figures decreased two percentage points in Jefferson and Lewis counties for the month of January, compared to the same month last year.

“There are good jobs with the right training,” she said.

With companies looking for help, representatives of 53 companies will cram into the Ramada for the job fair.

“We’re trying to fit as many as we can,” she said.

Worker shortages aren’t only caused by the pandemic, she said. It’s been expected for about a decade as Baby Boomers began retiring and there are not enough people to fill those jobs, she stressed.

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