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Employees sought: Detroit Lakes job fair draws a crowd of businesses and potential job seekers

More than 60 businesses gathered at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, April 27 in an attempt to lure new employees at the Lakes Area Job Fair, hosted by the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program.

Sherri Zaeske, center-left, staffing coordinator at Pelican Landing in Detroit Lakes, speaks with Jenna Tollefson, right, of Detroit Lakes, during the Lakes Area Job Fair held at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on April 27, 2022.
Sherri Zaeske, center-left, staffing coordinator at Pelican Landing in Detroit Lakes, speaks with Jenna Tollefson, right, of Detroit Lakes, during the Lakes Area Job Fair held at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on April 27, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — More than 60 companies set up tables and provided handouts to attendees of the Lakes Area Job Fair in Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, April 27.

The annual event was hosted by Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program Inc., and showcased job openings across a wide range of fields, including different career options within the same company, said Kelley Nowell, team leader for the hosting program.

"Health care, the staffing agencies, manufacturing, you name it, part-time, full-time, sometimes you get paid more for working a weekend shift. If you are looking for work, now is the time to look because there is so much opportunity," said Nowell.

She also said the Kent Freeman Arena was a great venue to hold the event at this year, with lots of space for each display. Last year, the event was held outside at a windy M State parking lot, which created problems for some of the lighter displays and awnings.

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Brittney Nordick, left, human resources manager at Team Industries of Audubon, speaks to event attendees during the Lakes Area Job Fair on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"(The job fair) is important for the employers to also advertise for themselves, the business, what they do, because I think a lot of people in communities don't always know what all businesses do," said Nowell. "And there are so many jobs open. I call it a job-seekers-buffet because there are just ample jobs and you can probably find something that suits you."

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Rural Minnesota CEP, located in Detroit Lakes, can be a great resource for any potential job seeker, she said, adding that if any high school student or graduating seniors are looking for work next month, they should stop by the Roosevelt Avenue office to see what resources are available to them.

"I always say it could save you thousands of dollars for a five minute conversation," said Nowell. "Just ask us."

The event also gave employers an opportunity to interact with the community directly and share stories about what it's like to work in a specific field, or at a specific company.

"We are trying to get our name out in the community, in case people don't know who or where we are. We've only been there for two years, and we're like everybody else, we're always looking for employees, if not now, maybe sometime in the future," said Sherri Zaeske, staffing coordinator at Pelican Landing in Detroit Lakes.

Zaeske said she just recently left a job that she'd been at for 41 years, but she fell in love with her new work environment almost immediately.

"It's a very caring environment," she said. "The first moment when I walked in, it just felt like I was home."

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Staffers of Blue Sky Inc. talk to an event attendee during the Lakes Area Job Fair held at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, hosted by the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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