Utah Workforce Services to host virtual job fair

People line up outside the Utah Department of Workforce Services Monday, April 13, in Salt Lake City. The department is hosting an online job fair on April 16. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Utah Department of Workforce Services is hosting an online job fair Thursday, April 16, to help connect Utah workers with local employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Service Area Director David Busk said the job fair will include a wide variety of opportunities.

“We have nearly 80 employers registered for the event,” he said. “Opportunities range from manufacturing and construction to cyber security and engineering.”

Mayor Kaufusi shared the virtual job fair announcement on her Instagram profile.

Though many employers are offering remote work for Utah residents affected by COVID-19, Busk said some employers are also offering long-term career opportunities.

The virtual event will maintain the atmosphere of a traditional job fair.

“Imagine a show floor, or floor plan with rows of booths. In each booth the employer logo is displayed along with the number of job openings they have available,” Busk described the platform. “Job seekers can browse or scroll through the page.”

Busk explained that a job seeker can click on a virtual booth to see information about the company and use a live chat feature to talk to the employer. Those wishing to participate can register at jobs.utah.gov.

Since the onslaught of COVID-19, many Utah residents, like many other people across the world, have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently as businesses close in response to quarantine mandates and “stay home, stay safe” policies. The Department of Workforces Services reports that Utah residents filed 33,076 unemployment insurance claims in the week of March 29 alone. The average number of weekly claims in 2019 was 1,131.

Christina Davis, the strategic communication manager for the Department of Workforce Services, said the department has been working hard to manage the influx demand for department services.

“Our staff have been amazing,” she said. “They have essentially done a year’s worth of work in a month.”

Though in-person workshops have been suspended for the time being, most of the department’s job search resources, including workshops, are still available online. According to Husk, the pandemic need not hinder anyone from obtaining employment.

“In spite of COVID-19, work is still being done, and there are employers out there that need employees,” he said.

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