MAT-SU JOB FAIR ATTRACTS THOUSANDS
Labor Specialists Treat Businesses to Morning “Wake-Up” Program
what may have been a regular work day for many Alaskans, thousands of
job seekers made their way to the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla on
Thursday, April 26 for the first annual Mat-Su Job Fair. The Alaska
Job Center Network’s Mat-Su Job Center and their Employer Committee
sponsored the fair attracting 2,500 people, including 39 organizations
ranging from small to large businesses, and non-profit and government
agencies who were there to recruit workers or provide information about
“We provided the chance for job seekers and employers to meet and an
opportunity for the community to become aware of the Mat-Su Job Center
services that are offered here in the Valley,” said Barb Moscibrocki,
manager of the Mat-Su Job Center. “The Job Center Employer Committee
put in a lot of hard work setting this up – they were the backbone behind
this successful event.”
Business representatives were treated to a morning “Wake-Up Program,”
with Randy Carr, chief of labor standards at the Alaska Wage and Hour
office, and labor economist Neil Fried. Carr gave the audience answers,
in layman’s terms, to any and all wage and hour questions. Fried provided
businesses with an economic overview and comparative analysis of the
Mat-Su region and Alaska’s latest economic and employment trends. Wasilla
radio station KMBQ provided local, live coverage, while M.A.S.C.O.T
bus lines provided free rides to and from the job fair.
“Our expectations were vastly exceeded,” said Heidi Frost, a coordinator
of the event. “Participation by both the local business community and
job seekers was fabulous.”
The majority of job seekers were from Wasilla, Palmer and Big Lake,
according to a follow up survey, while others came from Willow, Point
McKenzie, Sutton, Eagle River, and Anchorage. Most were unemployed,
looking for full time work in the Wasilla/Palmer/Big Lake area. Participating
employers included Valley Hospital, Tesoro, Seed-N-Tree and Outdoors
and More. Along with businesses, many other organizations were looking
for employees including the Anchorage Police Department, Palmer Senior
Center and the Mat-Su School District.
The Alaska Job Center Network is a “one-stop” partnership of local,
non-profit and State of Alaska agencies located throughout Alaska in
easy to reach sites. The aim is to make it easier for workers to find
their first, next and best job, get training, or change careers, while
matching workers to employer job openings.
The Mat-Su Job Center provides an array of employment, training, educational
and social services for job seekers, including vocational counseling,
job development and referral, adult basic education classes, job skills
training and welfare to work assistance. People needing help creating
a resume or any other last minute tips were able to get them at the
Job Center, which remained open for the duration of the job fair.
For employers, the Job Center provides posting of job openings on the
Internet, job matching, and information on hiring, human resource management,
plus coordination of mass recruitment and hiring events, at no charge.
Last year the center posted over 1,400 jobs for Mat-Su area employers.
Currently the center averages 120 to 140 job openings per week.
The Alaska Job Center Network regularly hosts job fairs throughout the
state each year, attracting thousands of job seekers and employers and
providing them the opportunity to meet face to face.