Success Fair: ‘Perfect place’ to find jobs in QC

Quad Cities Success Fair
Matthew Burgess, right, gets information from a potential employer on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Quad Cities Success Fair held at the Rogalski Center on Davenport’s St. Ambrose University campus. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

They came looking for second jobs to help pay their bills. They were looking for a job in manufacturing or meal preparation. And others were just looking – and being somewhat picky when considering job offers.

Those people being more choosy on employment offers could afford to be. Dozens of area employers gathered Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 16, for the sixth annual Quad Cities Success Fair held at the Rogalski Center at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

quad cities success fair
A job hunter gets information from Moline-based Elliott Aviation’s table Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Quad Cities Success Fair at St. Ambrose University, Davenport. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

Many of the 80 or so employers, organizations and company officials on hand had “We Are Hiring” signs and banners at their tables. Many were offering on-site interviews, job offers and free gifts to attract job hunters. And for at least part of the afternoon, the job offers seemed to outnumber the job hunters.

Even with a somewhat sparse crowd of people looking for work, several company representatives said they were pleased with the event and the response from potential future employees.

The Tuesday fair had the goal of helping military veterans, their family members and other people in the community find jobs and other resources. IowaWORKS describes the event as “a bridge to employment for veterans, civilians, transitioning soldiers and the community.”

Sunday Saunders, a human resources official with Harris Pizza, said she had visits from three or four people in the first half hour of the Success Fair “and they all seemed to be very positive” about possibly joining the company.

The Quad Cities-based Harris Pizza has a total of 15 to 20 job openings at its various locations. It is recruiting for pizza makers, prep cooks, cashiers and managers, she added.

“Our business is really good right now. We just need more people,” said Ms. Saunders, who added that Harris Pizza hopes to return to indoor dining in the near future after closing its dine-in operations due to COVID-19.

Event organizers said the job fair was a great opportunity to do some one-stop shopping for the many job openings available in the community.

“If (job hunters) want to shop the market, this is the perfect place to do it,” said James Stout, a veteran career planner with IowaWORKS, which presented the Success Fair.

Among the companies and groups hiring were: Elliott Aviation; City of Davenport; St. Ambrose University; Kraft Heinz; Hotel Blackhawk and The Current; Genesis Health System; I-80 Group; HNI Corp.; and many others.

Considering that many local companies still are looking for employees, it was “definitely easier to get employers here” this year,” said Heather Deters of IowaWORKS.

And that was great news to the people who were hunting for jobs at the Success Fair.

Matthew Burgess, of Davenport, visited several of the company tables – searching for a second job to bring in more money. “I need something overnight,” he added. “I’m working at Rudy’s right now, but I’ve got more bills to pay.”

Another job hunter, Daniel Todd, of Maquoketa, Iowa, wants a job in manufacturing or food preparation. He called the event and company reps “very helpful.”

“The people here have pointed me in the right direction for some jobs,” he added.

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