WATERVILLE — Job seekers who face barriers such as a lack of access to transportation or time constraints will have a chance Tuesday to connect with prospective employers in a new way.

A new pilot program organized by the Central Maine Growth Council is offering a virtual job fair that will allow participants to browse employers and chat with them via video.

As of Monday afternoon, more than a dozen employers had signed up to be part of the Maine Virtual Job Fair and listed times where job-seekers can sign up for a chat on Tuesday.

“By virtue of its online location, Maine Virtual Job Fair allows recruiters and job-seekers to connect from the office, home, library, or dorm, and employers with multiple branches can market all open positions rather than those local to a specific region,” said Elaine Theriault-Currier, development coordinator at the Central Maine Growth Council, in a news release.

The concept for a virtual job fair stems from a workforce shortage in Maine, which has a 3.4% unemployment rate, according to the council.

Because most of Maine’s workforce is already working, it can be difficult for employees to attend workforce recruitment fairs, and businesses are often too understaffed to devote a portion of their day to those fairs, the release said.

There’s also a need for employers to widen the scope of their search for workers to new markets such as students in high school, colleges and universities, all of whom will be able to participate in the virtual job fair.

For those without access to internet or computers, the council has partnered with a statewide network of libraries and Career Centers to make the virtual fair accessible. A list of participating service centers can be obtained by calling 207-680-7300.

The fair is accessible via the council’s website at centralmaine.org.


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