If the COVID-19 pandemic has you worried about your career trajectory and financial future, you are not alone. We know that among nearly 500 tech companies, there are more than 60,000 employees being laid off. Additionally, there are millions of others looking for work in other industries and thousands of college graduates entering the workforce during a time of economic uncertainty. While there is a lot that we do not know about the future, we know that there are opportunities arising and a lot that individuals can do to give themselves the best chance for success.

A Virtual Recruiting Fair

On May 21st, One America Works hosted its first virtual recruiting fair. Yes, it was in the middle of an economic recession and a global pandemic. Yet, several fast-growing companies were still searching for talent. The focus for the first fair was on the recent technology job hiring taking place in Pittsburgh, a city well known for its innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics, and remote first companies. These companies were searching for talent to fill open positions and we stepped in to support those searching for work amid a global pandemic.

At OAW, we exist to help grow the economic well-being of American’s spread throughout the country. Part of this mission is designed to support individuals, so it is important now that we connect people to innovative companies and cities with the right career opportunities. With positions available across programming, product, sales and many other disciplines, this job fair was a perfect opportunity for tech talent based in high cost cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and New York City to think about making a move to up and coming high growth cities across the nation.

Recruiting Fair Success

The virtual recruiting fair was largely successful in engaging businesses and jobseekers. There were hundreds of recent graduates and newly dislocated workers that showed interest in joining the event. For the fair itself, fifteen of Pittsburgh’s top tech companies were involved and there were nearly 200 unique participant sign-ups. Employers included high growth companies like:

  • Niche: The best place to research US colleges, schools, neighborhoods and companies serving millions of people monthly
  • Fifth Season: Building robotic vertical farms to product more crops in smaller square footage areas
  • Blue Space: Helping connect cities through new Autonomous vehicle technology

Candidates in attendance varied across disciplines, years of experience and location. The attendees consisted of 53% marketing, sales & ops focused, 24% were technical engineering, and 10% were product or design focused. These folks represented 29 states across the country. We had a wide spread of experience with about 10% of participants who were executive level candidates, 50% mid- to senior-level professionals, and 30% recent graduates or entry-level (career changers, new to the tech industry, etc).

The event worked by assigning candidates specific time slots to meet companies one-on-one in online rooms. This was just the first in a series of job fairs One America Works is coordinating to showcase well-paying innovation jobs across the Heartland. During this economic decline, we are connecting thousands of people to hundreds of the best companies in the country. And we’re just getting started.

What Else Can You Do?

Even amid economic uncertainty, some industries have continued to grow. Companies that employ “essential workers” or had technology that made work and life during quarantine easier have continued to hire. Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired stated that, “While the COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately hit certain industries very hard from an economic standpoint, there are many other industries like e-commerce, delivery, and cybersecurity growing rapidly during this time,”. There is a lot of truth to this statement, so dislocated workers should remain optimistic in applying for new opportunities. Here are several resources and supportive services to help individuals find work, search relevant job boards, and access remote work easier.

At One America Works, we are here to help you find your next career opportunity with quality companies in growing cities. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can support you.