WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Dozens of job seekers showed up at The Pennsylvania Career Link at Wilkes-Barre for a job fair billed as an ‘Advanced Manufacturing Industry Event’. Ten employers offered jobs ranging from warehouse workers to machine operators.
“I feel like I have a good chance of getting one,” said John Fuches. The 57-year-old Pringle man applied with four different manufacturing companies after recently losing his job. “First time I’ve ever been unemployed in my life. The last company I worked for, I worked there for 18 years. It was bought out by a company from France and unfortunately had cutbacks.”
It’s a U.S. job loss trend that’s happened far too frequently in recent decades. Mountain Top Foam Human Resources Executive Joe Pail said, “The overall manufacturing base of this country has taken a beating but there are jobs out there.”
This job fair happened as manufacturing has become one of the central themes of the presidential election. Both candidates have vowed to create millions of jobs nationwide and bring a growing prosperity to states like Pennsylvania. Luzerne County at EDSI Business Services Supervisor Tracy Kleban said, “The Commonwealth has a renewed interest in manufacturing in the area. We’re talking about industry partnerships.”
Mr. Fuches considers the Keystone State the right fit for expanding the manufacturing industry. “It’s a good location for the east coast going north and south also so I believe it’s a good area.” Mr. Pail is cautiously optimistic about creating additional manufacturing jobs. “I’d like to see more. I think most of us would but we all know it’s a world economy and we’ve got to compete.”
Ms. Kleban said the manufacturing jobs available at Wednesday’s job fair ranged from entry level wages to more than $25 per hour.