Jobs Plus organizers hoping for larger crowds to Collinsville

COLLINSVILLE — Organizers of Jobs Plus, the annual regional job fair held at Collinsville’s Gateway Convention Center in September, are hoping for a larger turnout among job seekers.

Last year about 100 people came out to meet with representatives of approximately 80 companies and schools.

Tony Fuhrmann, director of Madison County Employment and Training (MCET) one of the main sponsors of the job fair, said this is a perfect time to look for work.


“There’s not a better time in my lifetime, for somebody to be looking for a job,” he said last week at a workforce meeting at the convention center.

He said a “COVID lag” may have been part of the reason for last year’s low attendance.

This year’s fair will be from 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Gateway Convention Center. It is sponsored by MCET and the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department.

Despite low numbers, Fuhrmann said he was impressed last year with the quality of both the employers and job-seekers.

“What we found on both sides was better quality,” he said. “We had 80 legitimate, strong employers, and the employers said there weren’t a lot of people, but they were stronger. People came prepared and ready to look for employment.”

That includes some who were interviewed and offered jobs on the spot, something Fuhrmann said he expects to see this year.

This comes as statewide unemployment rates fell to 4.4 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local figures are expected to be released later this week.

“As the statewide unemployment rate continues to drop and continued claims levels for unemployment benefits remain at historic lows, IDES encourages employers and jobseekers to utilize the Department’s robust employment services tools for reentry into the workforce,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Whether it be participating in or a hosting a job fair, training or skills building, IDES has the tools needed to assist in the growth of the expanding labor market.”

For those still looking for work, MCET offers services ranging from job postings and help with resumes or job searches, to paying for up to two years of training for high-value jobs.

For information about employment and workforce training opportunities, call 618-296-4301, visit the Madison County website at or visit the department’s Facebook page at

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Jobs Plus organizers hoping for larger crowds to Collinsville


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