Chuck Knebl
Chuck Knebl
WorkOne Northern Indiana (www.gotoworkone.com) provides employment-related services to individuals and employers throughout Indiana's Economic Growth Region 2 (Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties). Region 2 features some 23,500 employers, 298,000 workers and 611,000 residents. Our mission is to get people jobs as quickly as possible at the highest possible wage by meeting the needs of regional employers.

Chuck Knebl, who will be writing this blog, is WorkOne's communications manager and webmaster.

Employers seek to fill open positions at successful job fair

Jackie Walorski's Jobs Fair on June 6, 2014, was successful for multiple reasons.

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 6:04 p.m.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski's Jobs Fair on June 6, 2014, was successful for multiple reasons. For instance, a number of Hoosiers moved forward with vigor on building their networks by interacting and communicating well with employers, including making good eye contact and speaking in concise phrases emphasizing their skills.

Chuck Knebl, one of The Elkhart Truth’s community bloggers, writes about the work WorkOne Northern Indiana is doing around the community. He is the organization’s communications manager.

Moreover, from the perspective of the 52 attending employers, they succeeded during the event in presenting their brands to individuals as well as making initial assessments of individuals’ soft skills, such as verbal and nonverbal communication abilities, appearance and attitude.

Therefore, in taking an overall view of the event, numerous relationship-building actions by individuals as well as Northern Indiana companies amounted to heartwarming advances in the overall hiring process.

Another noteworthy factor was simply wonderful cooperation among Congresswoman Walorski and her staff with WorkOne managers as well as staff members. As the sponsor, the congresswoman chatted with both employers and job seekers during the Jobs Fair at Bethel College's beautiful Wiekamp Athletic Center in Mishawaka. WorkOne personnel participated in a support role, and we were happy to do so.

In addition, more than 400 individual job seekers attended the six-hour event, including 80 military veterans, about 14 of whom registered for an upcoming class, "Operation: Job Ready Veterans" (OJRV). Congresswoman Walorski strongly supports the OJRV effort, as shown in the photos.

Importantly, during the planning stages for the event, Congresswoman Walorski and WorkOne's managers held discussions with companies to learn about their staffing needs, and employers with current open positions saw advantages to participating in the Jobs 'Fair. Thus, the congresswoman and WorkOne managers were pleased that employers recruited actively. In addition, the fact that employers arrived with open jobs to discuss with candidates – an encouraging staple now for hiring events in north-central Indiana – was a positive sign for the regional economy. Those open jobs were entered by WorkOne staff members into Indiana Career Connect.com, the state's substantial online portal for individuals seeking employment as well as businesses engaged in hiring to fulfill their staffing needs.  Employers and job seekers do not have to pay any fees or costs to participate in the state-funded Indiana Career Connect.com (ICC.com) portal.  Parties interested in either seeking a job or posting an opening should contact WorkOne Elkhart County, 574-295-0105, or another WorkOne office in Region 2 (Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties).     


In addition, much enthusiasm surrounds a vibrant, innovative effort to prepare veterans for successful employment in the civilian workforce, including Northern Indiana's 295,000-strong labor force.

The effort, called "Operation: Job Ready Veterans" (OJRV) and spurred by a partnership of public agencies and non-profit groups, seeks to prepare veterans by immersing them in civilian job-readiness skills and strategies during a week-long seminar. Many of OJRV's trained staff members are vets themselves, and their common military experiences provide them with vital insights into various hurdles and difficulties inherently faced by vets transitioning to civilian jobs.

Services of OJRV include not only job-readiness assessments and employment preparation activities but also personal introductions to employers. Moreover, staffers with Operation: Job Ready Veterans take pride in providing services to transitioning veterans as well as vets with disabilities.

As a nonprofit organization, OJRV provides services to veterans of all eras and eligible spouses. Services include:

  • Pre-employment training and placement coaching
  • Customized career education and preparation
  • Customized employment recruitment
  • Employment support services


In addition, OJRV has launched an effort dedicated to the needs of employers in Elkhart County, Northern Indiana and elsewhere. The program aims to identify and prepare veterans who have acquired skill sets that could add value immediately to an employer's operations. In the program, OJRV provides services at no cost to employers, including:

  • Qualified veteran job candidates
  • Customized recruiting and placement
  • Retention services
  • HR technical assistance, including accessing potential federal benefits


Several public and nonprofit organizations have collaborated to establish OJRV; these include:

  • the Indiana National Guard and Reserve
  • the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
  • American Legion
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
  • American Veterans (AMVETS)
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, including Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Easter Seals Crossroads


Transferring from the military to civilian workforce can be challenging. The Operation: Job Ready Veterans (OJRV) team of experts support and assist vets in discovering their career interest as well as documenting their transferable skills.


Specialists from OJRV will guide veterans in developing a top-notch resume and strategies to successfully navigate the civilian job market, as well as train vets to use social media outlets effectively in their research.


In addition, the OJRV program and instructors will train vets on how to conduct labor market research as well as building a network and preparing for interviews.


The VETERAN EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SEMINAR, also known as V.E.T.S., is a one-week comprehensive, developmental and empowering seminar to prepare vets to re-engage the Northern Indiana job market.


The seminar’s framework includes:

  • SEMINAR'S CONCLUSION — The V.E.T.S. concludes on the fifth day with a guest speaker, graduation for vets, and a meet-and-greet event with local employers.



-- http://walorski.house.gov/

-- https://www.indianacareerconnect.com/vosnet/Default.aspx

-- http://www.jobreadyvets.org/ ?

-- http://www.dav.org/

-- http://www.in.gov/igr/ ?

-- http://www.amvets.org/

-- http://www.in.gov/dwd/

-- http://www.va.gov/health/

-- http://www.legion.org/

-- http://www.eastersealscrossroads.org/

-- www.gotoworkone.com/home/index.asp?page=10&recordid=837&returnurl=index.asp%3Fpage%3D10

-- http://www.gotoworkone.com/home/index.asp?page=49


Would you like to become one of The Elkhart Truth’s community bloggers? Get in touch with our community manager, Ann Elise Taylor, at ataylor@elkharttruth.com.

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