New Castle News

Union

October 25, 2012

Sophomores in spotlight at annual career fair

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — GETTING THE SKILLS

Colleen Chamberlain of Xaloy said yesterday’s event is vital to introduce jobs in manufacturing and industry to students.

“People say there are no jobs out there, but that’s not true,” Chamberlain said. “There are tons of jobs, but people don’t have the necessary skills to fill them.”

Chamberlain and the other company representatives spent more than five hours yesterday answering questions and telling students what skills they would need to get those jobs.

“People are going to college, but we are not producing a workforce that can do what we need them to do,” Chamberlain said.

Xaloy, a global leader in high-performance machinery components and equipment for the plastics industry, employs 450 people, half in New Castle and Youngstown.

Chamberlain began her career at Xaloy as an accounting clerk with a high school diploma. She is now the human resources administrator and specialist for the company.

Chamberlain said it took a few years for the career fair to find the right audience.

“We had eighth-graders come in, but it was too early for them. Then we had juniors and seniors, but that was too late. Tenth-graders seem to be the right age.”

Chamberlain is confident the event will pay dividends for future Lawrence County generations. “It will take a few years until we see the results of our labors here.”

Groups that helped organize yesterday’s event were the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence County School-to-Work program, West Central Job Partnership, which manages the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership of Lawrence and Mercer Counties, and the Oh-Penn Pathways to Competitiveness initiative. The Industry Partnership, which is comprised of more than 50 manufacturers in the two counties, sponsors the event.

(Email: d_burcham@ncnewsonline.com)

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