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IMEC - Downstate
1501 W. Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625

IMEC - Chicago Region
1651 Wilkening Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Fax: 309-677-3289

E-mail: info@imec.org

McHenry Manufacturers Try A New Way to Hire: Skills Fairs

IMEC and McHenry County Partners Join Forces for Workforce Outreach

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2014

On Tuesday, August 26th, the McHenry County Workforce Network and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) will kick off National Workforce Development Week with a Skills Fair. Rather than a traditional hiring fair where candidates dress up and deliver resumes, the Skills Fair will put local plastics manufacturers face-to-face with job seekers to demonstrate their job skills.


Workforce Network & IMEC have teamed up with Skill Scout, a Chicago start-up and creator of this new way of hiring by helping companies communicate with their job actually entails with a compelling video and skills-based job profile. Similarly, companies review candidates by seeing them demonstrate job skills.


"Job postings and resumes don't work. They don't represent the job or the candidate very well," said Elena Valentine, co-founder of Skill Scout. "Companies spend billions of dollars on job boards only to receive an overwhelming pile of resumes. It's because of this misalignment that thousands of jobs go unfilled and thousands of candidates go unhired."


This collaborative effort has been supported by the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance who focuses on ways to increase employment and earnings for under-prepared workers.


"These companies, like many, are facing the skills mismatch challenge," said David Boulay, President of IMEC. "They have worked together over the past few months to find new and unique solutions to solve their workforce challenges. This skills fair is the culmination of their work."


But, Skills Fairs don't just benefit the companies, they benefit the candidates as well. One candidate who recently attended a manufacturing Skills Fair in Chicago said, "I didn't have to sell myself with my words. I could sell myself with my work."


The ability to showcase one's talent gives candidates a better shot at an interview and eventual hire. For companies, a short list of candidates to observe and interact with enables better hiring decisions. Companies can see a candidate's technical and personal skill.


"We look forward to working with Skill Scout to showcase the Skills Fair concept as a new way of recruitment for employers and job seekers in an interactive setting," said Julie Courtney, Director of the McHenry County Workforce Network.


Candidates interested in participating in the Skills Fair are welcome to apply by taking a short online recruitment survey to ensure they meet the minimum criteria. Only 40-45 candidates will be invited to attend. For those who don't quality, the McHenry County Network wants to connect and provide support for other employment opportunities available in the area. Visit www.mchenrycountyworkforce.com to learn more.




About IMEC

IMEC was established in 1996 with the goal of improving the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois' small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC's services. IMEC has helped more than 2,000 Illinois manufacturing companies to achieve more than $1 billion in improvements in productivity, sales and cost savings. IMEC has 11 offices statewide and 40 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists. To learn more about IMEC or other supporting organizations, contact Amy Fitzgerald, at 309-677-2977 or afitzgerald@imec.org, or visit www.IMEC.org.