A year ago at WorkOne’s job fair at the Old Bag Factory in Goshen, Ind., attendees were thrilled just to get a face-to-face interview with a potential employer. But a year later, the tide had turned.

The South Bend Tribune reported that with unemployment in Elkhart County down to 5.5% in January, it was the businesses that were hoping for a good turnout.

About 35 companies attended the job fair, including several RV firms. But in the first hour of the event, the number of human resource personnel looking for workers was close to the 85 job seekers. All of the companies were looking to hire people and many had at least 10 positions they were looking to fill.

Mike Bellovich, human resources director for Heartland Recreational Vehicles in Elkhart, was hoping for a larger crowd than he saw the first hour. “We would like to pick up 10 to 15 people here today,” he said. “We are facing a real challenge right now with the unemployment level being so low in Elkhart County. It’s extremely difficult to find skilled people.”

Things have turned considerably since 2009-2010, he said. “The unemployment level is the predominant reason, but there are issues with work ethic and other reasons why folks are not employed in Elkhart County at this time,” he said.

Heartland makes toy haulers and travel trailers in an assortment of sizes, among its major offerings.

Those visiting Heartland’s table were asked to fill out an application online. Most of the positions were assembly positions that were available, Bellovich said. And anyone applying would have a pretty decent chance of getting interviewed.

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