By: Leah Uko
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (KPTM) – Hundreds of people who were laid off or will be laid off on May 3rd attended a job fair that was tailored to them.
When Griffin Pipe Products announced in February that it would close its Council Bluffs location, the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership reached out to manufacturing companies that would register to attend its job fair.
Paula Hazlewood with the Omaha Chamber of Commerce said 37 employers registered for the job fair held at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs on Thursday.
"This is a really super unique situation," Hazlewood said. "We typically don't have these types of skilled workers within our pipeline."
Job seekers were not browsing. They were aggressively looking for their next job seeing that Griffin Pipe Products would lay all 255 of its employees off next month.
The eager competition didn't worry Jim Brown who was talking with employers in the steel industry.
"My responsibility is to take care of my family," Brown told FOX 42's Leah Uko. "I can't do that without a job."
Brown, 51, is currently a melting supervisor at Griffin. He has worked for the company for 14 years. He said it took him five years to work his way up to being a supervisor so he was only interested in speaking with employers in the steel industry on Thursday.
"You look for that one right off the bat, then you go to Step B," Brown said as he walked over to one of the employer's booths. "So we're going to stick with Step A right now and be confident at that."
Brown and his wife researched the companies that registered to attend the job fair ahead of time. His last day at Griffin will be May 3rd.
Until that time comes, Brown said he would remain optimistic while aggressively looks for a replacement job.
"They kind of see the person that you really are. Sure you can look at a piece of paper and have all these words down, but until you see the energy that's coming out of you, you're the one they're going to remember because of that energy."
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