Millsboro chamber’s business expo/job fair draws applause

 

EXPO Beebe rehab mckenzie hedetniemi and smith

Joshua Smith, right, of Beebe Healthcare Rehab Services shares information with Laura McKenzie of PNC Bank. Looking on is Mark Hedetniemi of Beebe Rehab Services.

MILLSBORO – Businesses, employers, employment service connections and job seekers often met face to face Thursday at the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo/Job Fair 2016.

This was the second year for the chamber’s business expo and job fair, held at the Millsboro Town Center.

Feedback from the four-hour event was positive.

“We had 46 vendors. And I’d say 18 to 20 were hiring,” said Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Turner, adding he had not heard “anything negative at all.”

“I thought everything went very well. The event was very well attended by the public,” said Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Simmons. “Feedback that I got from participating businesses was positive and as the executive director that makes me very happy. All the business that were there were pleased with the turnout. Businesses that were looking to hire were pleased with the number of applications they received.”

“Another great thing was that the businesses in attendance got to network with each other, which may not happen very often,” said Ms. Simmons.

Among those with “now hiring” initiatives: CHEER and Tail Bangers. Large-scale employers the likes of Mountaire Farms were also on hand.

Nancy Todd, human resources director for CHEER, said CHEER’s particular focus was openings for director care workers in the Personal Assistant Services program.

“We’ve had a great amount of people signing up,” said Ms. Todd, one hour into the four-hour expo. “It is constantly expanding. We are here to meet the needs of the customers that we serve.”

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Carolyn O’Neal and Nancy Todd of CHEER man the booth at Thursday’s Business Expo.Job Fair sponsored by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce.

Direct care workers go into clients’ homes and assist seniors with bathing, cooking, dressing, housekeeping, errands and transportation to the store and various appointments. They receive an hourly wage and travel reimbursement, except for those in walking distance of their clients.

“With the influx of seniors in Sussex County the demand keeps building and building,” said CHEER Community Relations Director Carolyn O’Neal. “It can be rehab or age, and they really don’t need a nurse or a nursing home. They just need a little help, and that is what we offer them.”

Tail Bangers Dog Bakery, located north of Millsboro just off U.S. 113, is a thriving business whose wholesale component provides gourmet dog treats to stores across the continental U.S.

“We are always looking for bakers and always looking for decorators. And we’re looking for accounting personnel and office staff,” said Tail Bangers owner Lisa St. Clair. “There will be more specialized things that we will be getting into; more packaged products with opportunities in shipping and packaging as well. As we get bigger it is just part of everything.”

Pet Supplies Plus and Pet Valu are Tail Bangers’ two largest clients. Tail Bangers’ bakery cases are featured in plan-o-grams for those stores.

“Last year we grew by 32 percent. Pet Supplies Plus opened 50 new stores and Pet Valu opened another 100 stores. Pet Supplies Plus plans on having 500 stores by the end of 2017. They are at like 340 now,” Ms. St. Clair said. “So there is a lot more expansion.”

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Millsboro police patrolman David Moyer holds employment applications with the town’s police department.

Millsboro Police Department was hoping to cop the attention of potential officers. PFC David Moyer, an eight-year member of the Millsboro force, handed out department information and job applications.

The department will likely be at full force with anticipated graduation of two police academy cadets but there could be employment opportunities “in the near future,” PFC Moyer said.

Not all vendors offered employment.

Community Integrated Services aims to connect individuals with disabilities with employers.

“We help people find jobs in the community with developmental disabilities; autism, visual impairment, physical, mental health … all realms of disabilities,” said Holly Drumheiser, CIS’s manager of employment services for Sussex County. “We get our referrals from DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) and DDS (Developmental Disabilities Services). We find that the community is opening up more right now to hiring people with disabilities.”

The Indian River Chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Club was in membership mode, seeking recruits to join the current 25 members in support of the club’s projects.

On GFWC’s list are the Clothing Our Kids program, student mentoring and Quilts of Valor, which supports America’s veterans.

EXPO GFWC Indian River Chapter Cheryl Broadway Flo Ewasko

Cheryl Broadway and Flo Ewasko of the Indian River chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs shows a completed quilt in the club’s Quilts of Valor program.

Quilts of Valor, a nonprofit national grassroots community service, was actually founded by Blue Star mother Catherine Roberts of Seaford in 2003. The Indian River chapter meets every other month. Sewing sessions are held at the Plantation Lakes community center near Millsboro.

Ms. Simmons hailed the entire event a huge success.

“I could not have gotten this together without the help of my committee, Kevin Turner and Joe Beail and the volunteers who help set up and break down these events,” said Ms. Simmons. “This event wouldn’t be possible without all the businesses that participated and the chamber would like to thank each of them for attending and providing such wonderful door prizes.”

Ms. Simmons also thanked the Sussex County Post for its role as media sponsor and advertising.

“I think this really helped the event’s attendance,” Ms. Simmons said. “Talk about next year’s event has started and we hope it is larger and even better than this year!”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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