A job fair is an easy way to make that oh-so important connection with an employer. In the past, they have been hot spots for college students, looking for that first stepping stone in their careers. On Thursday, a job fair in Sioux Falls targeted a different generation. Active Generations and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation set the event up for baby boomers.
"I'm trying to get a home, and the extra income would help a lot for a down payment," Sharon Meyer said.
Meyer spent most of her career working at hospitals and nursing homes. After a break from the nine to five, age 67, she is ready to get back to work.
"And be with the people, I miss that very much," Meyer said.
Meyer is one of many baby boomers trying to re-enter the workforce, with either a fulltime or part time job. The Bridges Employment Resource Center at Active Generations coaches people over 40, and offers tips on successful interview and building résumés. 46 employers were at the Boomer Job Fair.
"As for myself, and others, just a matter of throwing applications in the ring and seeing what happens," Jay Trumm, who also wants to re-enter the workforce, said.
There might be some competition for jobs, as the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate is 7.3-percent. South Dakota is at 3.8-percent, and Sioux Falls sits at 3-percent. South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Employers Relations Representative Don Hartje said businesses are having trouble finding good employees.
"That 40 and older population, as I said, we need to find applicants wherever we can find them," Hartje said.
Hartje said this is why baby boomers are in high demand, because they have a reputation for working hard. Meyer said this description fits her, but she thinks employers will remember her for other reasons.
"My happy smile. My good sense of humor. I just love working with people, as I said," Meyer said.