COLUMBIA - Job seekers filled the gymnasium of Columbia's Armory Sports and Recreation Center for the Connecting the Community job fair Thursday afternoon. Twenty-two employers from different industries attended the fair and several employers conducted interviews on-site. 

Kathy Baker, the director of human resources for the City of Columbia, said she helped organize the job fair.

"We contacted employers in a multitude of ways," Baker said. "We did social media, we put out flyers, we sent out emails to our networks."

Michelle Simmons-Roland came to the fair to help several family members find jobs.

"My husband turned his application in at Swift [Foods]," Simmons-Roland said.

Employers across Columbia are searching for jobs at all skill levels. Katelyn Conway, a human resources officer with the Boone County Central Bank, said the bank is looking for positions across the board.

"We have a teller position, financial associate, a call center that has a video teller area as well," Conway said. "We have branch managers, lending assistants, quite a bit of variety at the bank."

The Boone County Government alone advertised nearly 20 open positions. This means some job seekers got to hear back from employers a lot earlier than they expected.

"When she said 'can we call you' and he was like 'yeah' and she was like, 'I mean today, will you be able to come to the plant today to come to interview?'" Simmons-Roland said.

The Armory was packed to its capacity. Baker said the job fair actually had trouble fitting all of the companies who wanted to attend.

"I have sent multiple emails asking them to let me know if they're not gonna make it because we have employers on a wait list," Baker said.

The unemployment rate in Boone County was last measured at 2.3% in July.

The groups attending included Columbia Public Schools, the sheriff's department, Boone County Joint Communications, Boone County Central Bank, and many others. The job fair was hosted by The Source Summit, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Job Center of Columbia, Regional Economic Development Inc., and the City of Columbia, according to a press release.

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