Job fair sees huge turnout in Warsaw

Fourteen companies set up at different tables for the job fair Thursday at the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Interest in a job fair hosted by OrthoWorx on Thursday generated an unexpectedly large crowd at the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion.

We had nearly 120 preregister and then I don’t know how many walk-ins, but it’s been a huge amount,” said Allyn Decker, vice president of operations with OrthoWorx, who was standing in a crowded pavilion, occasionally using a speaker to alert visitors to available interview tables.

The fair included 14 area employers and there was a constant line of prospective employees streaming in during the noon hour.

Decker was surprised but pleased about the turnout.

He predicted upward of 200 people to participate in what will be one of three fairs hosted by Orthoworks this year.

Some of the people said they recently lost jobs at Paragon, which recently experienced some layoffs.

One of those was Chad Goodman, Warsaw, who interviewed with several companies including Micropulse, a medical device company in Whitley County

The 22-year-old had been working in a 3-D printing department before being let go two weeks ago.

“It’s kind of crazy that so many people are looking for a job right now … I wasn’t planning on doing any of this, but it’s pretty cool that so many companies are open enough to have a job fair.”

I think it’s a pretty cool opportunity,” he added.

Maple Leaf was looking for 15-20 employees and found plenty to choose from.

“I was not expecting it to be this good … I had, I think, ten people at my table at once,” said Ellen Schwering, from the human resources office. “I’m excited to see what they have to offer.”

The event was likely one of the biggest gatherings at the pavilion since it opened a few months ago after major renovations that were paid for in part with more than $2 million from the Zimmer Biomet Foundation.

Silvi Duenas, with Zimmer Biomet’s HR department, was with a group of Zimmer Biomet employees who used several tables near the back to conduct interviews.

“It’s gorgeous. Great opportunity,”Duenas said. “It’s alway great to come and look for talent that is local … it’s a win-win for us.”

We’re excited to be here,” she said.

OrthoWorx hosted a job fair last year at Ivy Tech last year and was so impressed that they planned for three this year.

Others are scheduled for May and October, Decker said.

They’ll have to adjust further next year, he said.

“We started with 14 employers. I have nine on a waiting list. So we know there are many more employers who would like to have been here. We just didn’t have the capacity,” Decker said.

“Obviously, there’s a need. Next time, we’re going to have a bigger facility and more employers and each employer is going to have to bring at least two people to interview,” he said.

Attendance at Thursday’s job fair was believed to have attracted upward of 200 people at the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
There was a line at the front door of the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion Thursday during the noon hour for a job fair hosted by OrthoWorx. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
Suzanne Kuntz, left, with Micropulse, of Columba City, interviews Chad Goodman at Thursday’s job fair. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
Cassidy Olivarez, left, interiews with an unnamed represenative of Zimmer Biomet at the renovated Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion Thursday in Warsaw. Changes at the pavilion opened up the back of the building, creating a view of Center Lake. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.