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BENNINGTON — The Vermont Department of Labor, in collaboration with Creative Workforce Solutions, VocRehab Vermont and the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce, are organizing an October Job Fest for employers and employees alike. The event will take place on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bennington State Office Building at 200 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Vermont’s August unemployment rate was 4.3%, with Bennington’s LMA being the highest region in the state. Bennington County’s total combined labor force numbers equaled 20,018 in August. VT Department of Labor statewide currently has a record high number of job listings on their website www.vermontjoblink.com.

“Many of our members and area small businesses say that looking for workers is their number one concern right now,” said Matt Harrington, executive director for the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “We are now reaching a ‘workforce pandemic’ on the heels of a health pandemic with businesses closing early, closing on random days, canceling jobs, and just being unavailable and short staffed. Not a single day goes by for us where we don’t hear from one business or another the absolute challenge and frustration they are having trying to staff their businesses. We are thankful for efforts like the October Job Fest with the Department of Labor and other partners to try and drum up some workforce solutions for the region.”

This will be a COVID mitigation-friendly event as an outdoor in-person job fair. Potential job seekers are encouraged to come, speak with employers, enjoy refreshments, and gain employment opportunities. Job seekers are encouraged to bring a resume, dress in business casual clothing (weather appropriate attire) with face masks encouraged for all (face masks are required for un-vaccinated attendees).

Those interested should register here: https://bit.ly/SWVTOctJobFestSeeker

Employers are also encouraged to attend and register. They are encouraged to bring a pop-up canopy, folding table, chairs, display material, weather appropriate attire and facemasks. Employers can register here: https://bit.ly/SWVTOctJobFestProvider

“The Bennington VT Department of Labor office is incredibly grateful for the collaboration on this event with our co-sponsors,” said Wendy Morse, Southwest Vermont Regional Manager with the Vermont Department of Labor. “The pandemic has been tough on the Bennington County economy, employers and our labor force. Cohesive, strategic, partnerships working together in effort to bring employers and workforce together, is what is needed to strengthen Bennington’s recovery from the pandemic.”

A rain date of Friday, Oct. 22 has been scheduled.


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