DANVILLE — Local manufacturers need employees.

Thyssenkrupp Crankshaft Senior Human Resources Generalist Katie Chavez said it’s the worst she’s seen.

While they saw many people show up at a job fair last fall, it wasn’t that way at a hiring event at Danville Area Community College last week. They saw no one show up on Friday.

Chavez said they expected some people to attend, even to just ask questions.

She said all businesses in the area have been dealing with people collecting more in unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.

“People are not just so motivated right now,” she said.

She said some candidates are “ghosting,” not coming in for scheduled interviews.

Chavez said Thyssenkrupp doesn’t have temporary layoffs, like some other companies might.

“Business is good. We just need people,” Chavez said. “It’s just a challenge.”

Thyssenkrupp is hiring at its two Danville and Veedersburg, Ind. locations for about 30 positions. They’ve seen the need for increased jobs and shifts due to production needs.

Chavez said the jobs are desirable, citing the salaries, benefits and bonuses. There are a variety of jobs, such as for machine operators and team leaders.

They have billboards, yard signs, restaurant placemat ads and other marketing efforts in about a one-hour commute radius to find people. They will soon roll out a text-to-apply campaign.

The company also hopes to get back to its intern/apprenticeship program that had been halted due to COVID-19.

“It’s just a challenging time for hiring,” Chavez said, adding that a lot of companies are trying to figure out what truly motives somebody for a job.

That includes exploring different incentives to find employees.

Sygma in Danville has immediate warehouse associates openings and is offering a $1,500 sign-on bonus for qualified candidates.

It also needs delivery drivers and has open interviews on Tuesday afternoons at its Southgate Drive location.

McLane Midwest has started offering sign-on bonuses for warehouse employees, $1,000, and more for truck drivers.

McLane also opened up a part-time Flex Program to give candidates a chance to make their own schedule, to make it more appealing to work.

“Yes, we are hiring,” says Human Relations Manager Penny Hunter, with McLane Company Inc., about McLane Midwest in Danville.

McLane has openings in its warehouse for all shifts, full- and part-time availability for selectors, loaders, forklift operators, etc.

McLane also has summer help positions open for those who have summers free from school, and also CDL A driver openings and supervisor positions available.

“We are a grocery distribution company supplying items to Walmart, Walgreens, Dollar Stores and convenient stores... so with the warm weather comes people out and about shopping more at convenient stores and traveling, which requires more and more deliveries and items in the stores,” according to Hunter. “So we always have a large need of employees and drivers for the summer time.”

Hunter stated they were going strong through the coronavirus pandemic and are still going strong.

“We are struggling finding candidates that want to work, just like most other employers in town,” she added.

It has a hiring event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 30 at the Danville site, 3400 E. Main St., for warehouse and driver applicants.

They are looking for upwards of 20 new hires.

Employee requirement is that someone has to be 18. They no longer require a GED or high school diploma.

It is a physically demanding job, lots of lifting and standing on your feet for 10-hour days, according to Hunter.

Other upcoming job fairs include:

• Manufacturing and Warehouse Drive Thru Job Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed., April 28 in the Danville Area Community College front parking lot 2000 E. Main St. Bring plenty of resumes. Rain date is May 4.

• Healthcare, Hospitality and Staffing Agencies Drive Thru Job Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5 in the DACC front parking lot. Bring plenty of resumes. Rain date is May 12.

Viscofan is another that will be in attendance at the DACC manufacturing job fair. It’s hiring for multiple positions.

Vermilion Advantage President and CEO Tim Dudley said the area has a high manufacturing worker turnover rate.

“It’s across the United States,” Dudley said about it being seen all over. “It’s tough to get people.”

Local efforts are being made to bring awareness to the open jobs, such as through Vermilion Advantage, American Job Center and DACC.

Dudley said many businesses are hiring, as can be seen on the local job board on Vermilion Advantage’s website at www.vermilionadvantage.com. There are more than 100 open positions including at Watchfire Signs, Voyant Beauty (formerly KIK Custom Products), Steel Grip, Full-Fill Industries, AutoZone Distribution Center, Arconic and Hubner Industries in West Lebanon, Ind.

Dudley said there are some great places to work at, with the companies offering good salaries and benefits.

He said Vermilion Advantage wants to help manufacturers with that turnover rate, which can affect them filling orders, and also other companies coming here.

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