News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Job seekers browse booths at expo
Apr 26, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
The Fremont County Employment Expo on Thursday reflected national trends. Some workers were looking for work in new fields, some industries were reacting to large-scale trends and business was business as usual for some.
Dozens of job seekers perused more than 30 booths of companies and employment organizations filling Central Wyoming College's gym.
Some potential employees were looking for a job much different from their previous careers.
Jennifer Schanno visited the expo because she said she needs to go back to work. Her husband broke his foot falling off scaffolding on a construction site in Casper and cannot work.
Though he receives worker's compensation, she said she needs to rejoin the workforce after being a stay-at-home mother for some time.
She said her experience is in the medical field, and she spoke with an employer in the hospice field who was at the expo. Secretarial work also interests Schanno, but she said she is looking at many options.
"I've done stuff ... to go out beyond my horizons," she said. "I've applied at the Honor Farm and other things I wouldn't normally see myself doing."
Steven Amos also was exploring the options.
"School, job, anything, I'm looking to see what opportunities are available," he said.
Amos said he had worked in oil fields but was looking for something different.
The Wyoming Workforce Development Services booth had information about training programs that particularly interested him.
"I'm pretty excited about the schooling," Amos said.
Overhead Door Company of Riverton and Lander had a booth at the expo because it needed to replace some employees who had left.
"We've lost some help, and we're looking for some help," Scott Mason said.
The company feels pressured to hire because business is strong. On its website, Overhead Door says it employs 16 people.
Mason said that by noon, one qualified candidate had visited his booth, but the expo is not the only way he is looking for employees. His company has posted listings in several locations.
Wind River Tribal College also was looking to fill three positions after employees resigned.
Cultural resource specialist Tillie Jenkins said the expo was a successful event for her organization.
"One lady took all three (job descriptions) because her qualifications met all three," she said.
The low price of natural gas led Encana Natural Gas to slow operations.
"The cut back started last fall," Mike Greff said. "We're only doing maintenance and keeping existing production going."
He said Encana employs about 80 people locally, but the company only has openings for highly educated positions, such as engineers, in Denver.
Greff said he was optimistic the company would hire again.
"I think as the gas market usage increases as more people convert vehicles to natural gas, that will definitely help the market," he said.
Encana is working to secure permits to drill more than 4,000 wells in the Moneta Divide Field, which could take one and a half years or more, Greff said. Once the company obtains permission, it would start hiring again.