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‘It’s a sign of the times’: Bend job fair yields ‘minimal’ results

St. Charles, Express Employment came looking to fill some of 1,000+ combined jobs; only 16 people showed up

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The staff shortage continues to plague several industries nationwide, and in Central Oregon. St. Charles Health System and Express Employment Professionals held a joint job fair Tuesday in Bend to try to fill positions, but the number of people who showed up fell well short of their goal.

One of the prospective employees who showed up was Karen Miller. For her and her husband, it’s been an unexpected last year and a half.

They were both laid off from their jobs at an office supply store in Bend at the start of the pandemic.

“It was supposed to be a temporary type layoff,” Miller said. “We were hoping to get hired back on. Unfortunately, that didn't happen."

In the meantime, the Millers have been collecting unemployment benefits from the federal government. Like many folks, those benefits have been, well, beneficial.

“I'm thinking, 'I'm making a lot more money now than I was working, so I might as well take advantage of that as long as I can,’” Miller told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday. “Well, now the end is near. Now it's time to get back out there."

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is scheduled to end in just a few weeks, on Sept. 4. That's why the joint job fair in Bend by St. Charles and Express Employment seemed to come at the perfect time.

The two companies have more than 1,000 available positions combined. The job fair was hoped to play a major role in reducing that number, but the numbers did not exactly meet their needs.

Trevor Janeck, the talent acquisition manager for St. Charles, said, "To be able to account for a deficit like that, we would need 400-500 people, and hiring about half of those people to make a solid dent."

But Karen Turner, managing director for Express Employment Professionals, said only 16 people showed up to the job fair over a six-hour window.

With that small of a turnout, Janeck said Tuesday's job fair will have a "minimal" impact on the need.

“We were hoping for a little bit more traction, more candidates coming through," he said. "I think what we're seeing right now is an indication of the times that we're in. The labor pool is short. We don't have a lot of available people to work in many of our entry and mid-level jobs."

Janeck added that health care and affordable housing issues in Central Oregon are working against employers as well.

However, that's not stopping Miller from exploring her options.

“It's time to get back out there,” she said. “Plus, I'm getting a little bored."

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

38 Comments

  1. Lazy people and stupid administrations running the country and the state of Oregon. The unbelievable laziness and stupidity of people who take advantage of the system.

      1. And a special thank you from the illegal aliens getting a free ride. Only 180,000 a month that we know about. I’m sure we can boost that up with the latest budget.

  2. ‘I’m making a lot more money now than I was working, so I might as well take advantage of that as long as I can,’” Really kind of sums it all up right there.

      1. Why ??? This is a perfect example of Joey Biden’s plantation of dependency. Anyone not gaming the system is a fool- that’s what the Biden Residency is all about !

    1. maybe the chance to have quality time with family combined with the lack of desire to be someone else’s slave for 8 hours a day with a mask around ones head and a stick put up ones nose to check for covid on a regular basis might not be a bad thought process right now considering we all are going to die really really soon due to a deadly virus. when a person dies they will regret that they didn’t spend more time with family not that they didn’t work more…

    2. its probably not what they really said. the news edited it to fit the narrative.. to make it look like noone wants a job. mandatory injection with an experiment with unknown side effects coming soon in the makings is only going to make things worse..especially when all the vaccinated drop dead..coming soon to an area near you..

    3. People will always vote for Santa Klaus. Democrats are experts at perpetuating poverty and government reliance. He gives you free stuff. Those fools that work and pay taxes are the real chumps.

  3. “I’m thinking, ‘I’m making a lot more money now than I was working, so I might as well take advantage of that as long as I can,’”

    And this is just one of the many problems that has been created. Make people rely on Govt.

  4. Location, location, location, set that job fair up on hunnell rd. And maybe prove what a lot of us have been saying. They’ll have no excuse for not going, because it’s in their front yard. And if they don’t get a job will mean they’re not trying.

  5. Better get ready for another extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. These folks can’t go back to work as long as the delta strain is prevalent.

    1. The news says we are all going to die like yesterday so maybe they want to enjoy the last bit of time they have left instead of spending the large part of the day with a cloth comparable to dirty underwear choking thier breathing for 8 hours.. things have changed recently if you havent noticed..

  6. Perhaps they should have held a job fair next to Hunnel Rd. Imagine the rush of all those poor homeless people rushing to find work and finally getting off the Gov teat.

    1. I agree. homeless people should get jobs instead of begging outside of places they could be working. and then when you give them money instead of buying food for their dog they buy cigarettes..

    1. This a simple answer. Most landlords qualify as a small business. The rent moratorium is just another attack on small business. Those in our government are owned by big corporations. The big corporations want to run everything.

    2. Good point. Why pay your bills when you get free money to spend on frivolous things. Just like food stamps I see people buy junk food rather than food that is nutritious.

  7. Keep voting Democrat and this is the result. Wow gas up over 1.00 in Bidens 1st 6 months and inflation. Oh it is ok the government will bail out your lazy behind.

  8. St Charles is a horrible employer anyway. They’re giving sign on bonuses to new hires but refuse to take care of their existing employees. You know, the employees who have stuck with them throughout the pandemic. Maybe if the perspective new hires didn’t already know someone who works, or has worked, for St Charley they might have a chance at hiring new employees. St Charley may be the largest employer in Central Oregon but that does not make them the best.

    1. Spot on, friend of mine went with a blood clot, they sat her outside in 90 degree weather, for fear of covid. REALLY! So they are vaccinated but fearful enough not to treat you with a blood clot that if mis diagnosed can kill you.
      And that is our health care professionals, what a joke.

  9. Spot on, friend of mine went with a blood clot, they sat her outside in 90 degree weather, for fear of covid. REALLY! So they are vaccinated but fearful enough not to treat you with a blood clot that if mis diagnosed can kill you.
    And that is our health care professionals, what a joke.

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