CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 is Working for Chicago and providing you with helpful updates to get you back to work.

On Monday afternoon, the Lake County Job Expo will kick off. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas found out the details to help you land your next job.

For the past eight years, the Job Center of Lake County has been hosting a weeklong job expo. But they can’t do it the way they used to now.

“That world doesn’t exist right at this moment, and so we had to get creative,” said U.S Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Illinois).

Instead of handshakes and face-to-face meetings, this year’s expo will go virtual.

“We adapt and adjust,” Schneider said. “Life throws curve balls all the time. Obviously, the pandemic is a rather larger curveball.”

Schneider and state Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) are moderating the event over Zoom. So what will that look like?

“Each day, we’re having a different industry,” Schneider said.

Participants can log in at 1 p.m. Monday to learn about different job sectors:

• Monday: Manufacturing
• Tuesday: Transportation, Distribution, Logistics (TDL)
• Wednesday: Health Care
• Thursday: Professional Services
• Friday: Other

 

Despite the record unemployment levels caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many opportunities still exist.

“Businesses are rethinking and how they do their work,” Schneider said.

That means being open to exploration.

“There’s an opportunity for individuals to rethink what work they can do, so it might be an industry that was completely different than where someone was six months ago,” Schneider said. “It might be a job in the same industry, but completely different than what you were doing six months ago.”

And while traditional networking can’t happen over Zoom, Schneider said, “What we will have here is the chance to make future connections.”

Employer contact information will be posted online for follow-up conversations.

Another benefit of going digital, Schneider said, is that “this opens up an opportunity to have conversations with people literally across the district, the state, and the whole country. And so use this as a chance to expand your horizons to look beyond just your neighborhood or local community for opportunities.”

And Schneider’s advice for interested job seekers?

“You never know what little tidbit might be useful,” he said. “Join for all the sessions, even if it’s not something that you’re interested in. You might pick up something.”

CBS 2 is committing to Working For Chicago, connecting you every day with the information you or a loved one might need about the jobs market, and helping you remove roadblocks to getting back to work.

We’ll keep uncovering information every day to help this community get back to work, until the job crisis passes. CBS 2 has several helpful items right here on our website, including a look at specific companies that are hiring, and information from the state about the best way to get through to file for unemployment benefits in the meantime.

Tim McNicholas