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Employers Look For Skilled Workers At The Big Job Fair

February 25, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Employers Look For Skilled Workers At The Big Job Fair
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Sioux Falls continues to have a low unemployment rate.  Right now it sits at around 3 percent.  That's good news for those looking for work, but those looking to hire say it's a bit of a struggle finding the right applicant.

"We are based out of Canada; this is our first U.S. location," Brooke Edwards of Marmen Energy said.

Marmen Energy is just one of the many employers who have a booth at this year's Big Job Fair in Sioux Falls. 

"If you operate any kind of machinery, we're going to train you how to operate ours," Edwards said.

Marmen is looking to fill positions, everything from welders to machine operators, at its Brandon location where much of the work is building wind turbines.

"Ideally, we would like to be at 250 employees when we are fully staffed in the fall.  Right now, we are about half that," Edwards said.

Jeff Moffatt is a mechanical engineering student at Southeast Technical Institute, but he's already looking for work.

"I'm mostly looking to get hands-on experience, kind of while I go to school, actual mechanical jobs I can do," Moffatt said.

Every employer we talked with says the number of applicants is down this year, including Jason Reisdorfer of Weisser Distributing of Tea.  He thinks it's because of the low unemployment rate.

"The traffic is a little lower than what we thought it would be, but the quality of the applicants I think are higher than what we expected," Reisdorfer said.

"It's somewhat difficult in certain positions with the low unemployment rates, people don't need to leave their jobs and I think people might be a little uncertain about what we do and if their skills will apply, but we train everybody," Edwards said.

Including those just looking to get their foot in the door.

"This is right up my alley.  This is definitely the hands-on experience that I need," Moffatt said.

There were 133 employers at this year's Big Job Fair, including KELO-TV.

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