Luncheon to connect employers, applicants

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Few things are more frustrating to someone looking for a job than dropping off a resume or application to a prospective employer and then never hearing back from them. That's the frustration that the Southeast Missouri Career Center is trying to alleviate.

Fellow Marquette Tower residents the Workforce Investment Board of Southeast Missouri, the Department of Workforce Development and Mers/Goodwill will sponsor a "Meet the Employer" luncheon for the career center on Oct. 14, at Mers' sixth-floor Marquette office. The event will be the first in a series of similar luncheons designed to better acquaint the center and job-seekers with major area employers. The featured speaker at the inaugural presentation will be Susan Graeler, human resources director for Nordenia USA.

"Usually when you drop off a resume or an application, you don't get a chance to make contact with the human resources manager," said Phil Wagoner, director of Mers/Goodwill's Cape Girardeau Career Center.

He said the luncheons will give potential employees a chance to meet the human resources people, find out how to get their foot in the door at each company and let them know what employers are looking for.

Based in St. Louis, Mers/Goodwill is a not-for-profit corporation that is contracted by the Workforce Investment Board to help displaced workers find employment and run programs like Welfare to Work and other adult programs.

Wagoner said that in addition to helping those seeking employment know more about local employers, the luncheon will also help Southeast Missouri Career Center caseworkers get better acquainted with local industry and opportunities for their patrons.

As for employers, Graeler said that they and prospective employees will both benefit from learning more about the application process, desired skills and other aspects of area businesses.

"It will definitely help raise the awareness of applicants about how it works and explain that it's not an overnight process," Graeler said.

Wagoner said that Mers/Goodwill intends to contact other businesses on the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce's list of major employers -- those which employ at least 100 workers -- to invite them to provide speakers for future luncheons. That list includes manufacturing firms like Nordenia, Procter & Gamble and Dana Corp., and nonmanufacturing firms like the Cape Girardeau School District, Drury Co. and Schnucks.

Wagoner said the plan is to have a luncheon every two to three weeks through the end of the year, and after that have one every month. The Oct. 14 luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. and run until about 1 p.m.

trehagen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

WANT TO GO?

What: Meet the Employer luncheon

When: 11:30 a.m. Oct. 14

Where: Mers/Goodwill, sixth floor of Marquette Tower at 338 Broadway.

Info: Phil Wagoner at (573) 290-5766, extension 273.

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