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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:10 pm

Forum focuses on job connections

Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette

The city of Fort Wayne, along with local educators and employers, will host a forum next week aimed at helping Fort Wayne residents find good jobs. 

The event will help residents find information and input from local educators and employers on how to connect with jobs in the community. The forum will also feature discussion sessions and information booths focusing on apprenticeships, certifications, financial aid, records expungement, education opportunities and family resources.

"This is not a job fair in the traditional sense where people come in and get connected to a particular job that day. Our envisioning of this event is that you can come in, learn about what things are available … and find out how do you take that first step, how do you look at your future, where you think you want to be, and know what the next step on your path is," said Rebecca Karcher, the city’s director of community engagement. 

Forum partners include Greater Fort Wayne Inc., IPFW, Ivy Tech, Manchester University, Northeast Indiana Building Trades and Northeast Indiana Works. 

"Right now it’s predicted that by the end of the decade, we’ll be 5 million construction workers short, and the building trades want to do their part on making sure that we continue to bring in new workers, skilled workers, tuition-free workers where these men and women will be able to go to work and gain the skills that they need to work on these construction projects," said Glenn Head, diversity chairman for Northeast Indiana Building Trades.

Increasing residents’ access to good, steady jobs will have an effect on Fort Wayne’s employment rate and growth, Mayor Tom Henry said. 

"Right now the (city’s) unemployment rate is down to about 4.5 percent, which in many circles is very good, but we want to keep that or even drop lower if we can," he said. "But one way you do that is to help people pursue careers and help them get jobs."

The forum is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Public Safety Academy, 7602 Patriot Crossing. It is free and open to the public.