The annual Portage County Business Expo got underway Thursday in Stevens Point. But this year it had a new twist.
For the first time, a job fair was held along with the expo. So now it's not only time for businesses to show off their products, but for job seekers to make a great first impression.
Keith Riley just graduated from college and he's on the hunt for a job. So he set out to make a good first impression at an annual business expo.
"I just kind of wanted to see employers in the area and learn more about what jobs are out there," said Riley.
This is the first year the Portage County Business Expo included a job fair as part of the event. Hundreds of exhibitors took part looking for the perfect candidate.
"It's great, I saw the signs up around town, I'm just glad that there's an opportunity like this, I've been looking around lately and knocking on people's doors and stuff so this is a really convenient way to meet a lot of people," said Riley.
Business owners say it's convenient for them, too.
"I had actually just signed up for the expo and hadn't really paid attention to the job fair but I needed it and it may have just worked for me, so of course I think it's great," said business owner, Hugh Rumsey.
Rumsey owns Central Wisconsin Dataworks in Stevens Point. He says he's been searching for a new hire for weeks.
"I had an applicant come in who seemed quite qualified and I've been looking for people for three weeks who generally weren't, and it did that for me," said Rumsey.
That's why organizers say they decided to hold these two events together.
"We have the opportunity to certainly match people together and with the opportunities with the new businesses coming into the area there certainly will be a partnering there," said the Member Relations for Portage County Business Council, Mary Jo Monday.
Riley agrees, glad for the chance to network and search for his dream job. Organizers say they hope to hold another job fair next year.