Looking for a job? Solon’s got 1,500 of them available at the Solon Job Fair coming May 19 to the Solon Community Park.

The job fair, a partnership between the city of Solon and the Solon Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to run from noon to 4 p.m. The park is located at 6679 SOM Center Rd.

Some 71 companies will be on hand and are looking to interview and hire on the spot.

“We truly have something for everyone,” said Angee Shaker, Director of Business Development for the City of Solon. “We have full time, part-time, consulting, hybrid, jobs for recent college graduates, jobs for high school students, jobs for retirees. We asked the employers to list how many jobs they have available now, and there are 1,500 jobs available here in Solon.”

“Employers include everything from corporations to mom-and-pop type stores,” she added.

There are corporate jobs, retail jobs, tech jobs, restaurant jobs, healthcare jobs, childcare jobs, bank jobs, staffing agency jobs, and even jobs with the city of Solon itself.

Ms. Shaker noted that there are 900 businesses in Solon. The purpose of the fair is to bring job seekers together with the businesses that are located within the city. The fair is designed to be inviting to job seekers, with its location in the community park, or in the event of rain, in the Solon Community Center. But either way, Ms. Shaker suggests job seekers come dressed for the job they want, ready to interview with their resumes in hand.

“Our chamber members tell us the number one thing they need from the chamber is workforce development. They want employees to fill current roles and to fill future roles,” said Thomas Bennett, president of Solon Chamber of Commerce. “This job fair is our biggest opportunity to serve our members’ needs, and it is just a wonderful partnership to work with the city.”

The job fair has been a consistent way for employers to find employees, even during the pandemic. The fair was held outside last year to allow for social distancing, but fair planners liked it outdoors so much it is something they are continuing this year.

Mr. Bennett said that employers have found that having a job fair for a single company does not generate the type of interest or traffic a fair with 71 companies does.

“Our feedback is that the job fair provides a high level of satisfaction with the number of job seekers who attend,” he said.

Ms. Shaker agreed.

“I would like to see thousands of job seekers attend because that’s how many jobs there are available.”

She added that the worker shortage is not something that is temporary. She said she believes it might be a few years before things return to pre-pandemic levels. But she said she feels an excitement in the air with people deciding to get back into the workforce.

“I think there are many people who retired early due to the pandemic, due to health concerns, etc. But now I think many of them are realizing they still have years of work to give. There is definitely a role for those workers in our area,” she said.

As for the companies seeking employees, the job fair makes things easy for them, too. A one-time $50 registration fee includes a guaranteed spot under a dedicated tent complete with a table and chairs.

Both the city and chamber have done extensive publicity to bring people to the job fair and the Greater Cleveland RTA extended its route to SOM Center Road in Solon beginning in March, allowing those that use its services to arrive right in the center of the city.

Ms. Shaker added that one positive result of the labor shortage is that many employers have adjusted their requirements for training and education and are willing to provide skill training to new employees.

“Employers have lessened requirements and increased wages. Some are even offering signing bonuses,” she said. “I just can’t encourage job seekers enough to come out to the fair for all these opportunities.”

On May 19, a trip to the Solon Community Park might just be the first stop to snagging a great new job.

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