Job opportunities growing, local firms say

Business expo features nearly 40 local companies.

SPRINGFIELD — Local leaders spoke optimistically about jobs and the economy Thursday at a business-to-business program.

Several business and community representatives the News-Sun spoke with at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Expo said job opportunities are increasing.

“I’m seeing a positive growth in hiring” said Cindy Fisher, Key@Work relationship manager. Key@Work is a program of KeyBank that offers free and discounted banking to employees of companies.

The expo featured nearly 40 local businesses and organizations with informational booths in the Grand Hall of the new Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center on Clark State Community College’s downtown campus.

Fisher said that since she came into her managerial role last March, more companies are hiring and hosting informational presentations about the program.

Likewise, WorkPlus of Clark County Deputy Director Lehan Peters said her office is placing more people in more jobs with some growth in the manufacturing sector and high growth in the trucking and transportation industry.

So much so, in fact, that the division of the Job & Family Services of Clark County is trying to secure funding for a job fair this spring.

The last job fair in June was attended by about 1,500 job seekers.

Business is growing at companies like Foreman-Blair Buick, GMC, Cadillac, said Cadillac Sales Manager Eddie Tehan and Eric Henry, a sales and leasing consultant.

“We’re almost where we were when Pontiac” ceased production, Henry said. Sales fell off after the brand was cut from General Motors’ lineup, he said.

Sales have been helped along by rebates and incentives, new models, competitive prices and high used-car values, Tehan said.

The expo was followed by Taste: Springfield, a culinary event featuring about a dozen local restaurants and the chamber’s annual meeting with a report on the Greater Springfield Moving Forward and presentations of the annual awards.