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Iowa Workforce Development hosts first-ever drive-thru career fair

Organizers say there are 60 employers with 500 jobs opportunities looking for workers.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Workers have a chance to connect with potential-employers Wednesday in a new way. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) is hosting a drive-thru career fair for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's a way to recruit and a way to look for work," IWD Business Service Consultant Jamie McLaughlin says. "Most of the time, they just have to go to a website, which they will anyways to apply at these companies. But at least they get to do something like drive-thru, get a bag full of opportunities, current ones in the Quad Cities they can go right to and apply for, because they know that that company is looking for those people."

The drive-thru is happening 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Iowa Workforce Development offices 1801-A, E Kimberly Rd. Organizers say people can expect to get in line in their cars, pick-up their bag of job opportunities and fliers, and they're on their way.

Wednesday there are about 60 local businesses in both Iowa and Illinois. Altogether, McLaughlin says there are 500 unique job opportunities.

IWD says having an event like this is crucial to connect employers and workers during the pandemic.

"It's a misconception that employers aren't hiring right now," Local Veteran Unemployment Representative Jacqueline Friemel says. "They're actively recruiting. So we really want to get the word out that there are jobs available. There are jobs available across all kinds of different industries, different levels, and employers are actively looking and wanting to hire."

More drive-thru career fairs are planned in October. Oct. 14, there's one in Clinton at the Ashford University call center from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Another is on Oct. 20 in DeWitt at the Travel Mart parking lot from 4-6 p.m.

Credit: Iowa Workforce Development

In this graph, the bright blue line is the national unemployment rate. The darker blue line is Iowa's unemployment rate. 

The unemployment rate has slowly ticked down in Iowa since earlier this year. There was a spike shortly after many businesses had to shut down for coronavirus precautions. Iowa saw unemployment jump to more than 10 percent. 

Now in August, Iowa had a 5.9 percent unemployment rate. That's slightly better than the national unemployment rate, sitting at 8.5 percent. However, Scott County saw higher unemployment than the state as a whole. Unemployment in Scott County was 7.4 percent.