The talk around the nation is about jobs. Job openings in one Northeast Wisconsin community are being filled as we speak.
Ariens Co. in Brillion, Wis., is looking for about 200 employees to fill seasonal positions, and Tuesday was holding its first ever job fair.
"We're looking for people to come in and do the assembly work, fabrication, part picking, materials handling, and a number of other seasonal activities," Ariens's Diane Bluel said.
While the available positions are temporary, the company says it's looking for long-term ways to create more jobs in Northeast Wisconsin.
"It's an exciting time any time we start a new season," Bluel said. "We're looking for another great season and to bring a lot of people in. In this economy, it's great to give people the opportunity to have employment."
Summer time is prime time for building snow blowers at Ariens Co.
As Ariens ramps up to crank out about 1,000 snow blowers a day, it's bringing in a lot of help.
"We do need at least 200 employees, which generally means you need a pool a little bit larger than that to pick from," Ariens's Jeff Hebbard said.
Ariens expected to interview a thousand.
"We see a lot of people with many years of experience who were working with companies sometimes for 15 years — high levels of experience," Bluel said.
Unfortunately, that means some people have experienced some bad luck.
"It's hard. The last couple of places I've worked, they closed their doors because of the economy So it's just a hard situation," Allison Kohl of Brillion said.
At the job fair, job-seekers filled out applications, went through the interview process, and at the end some already had conditional offers.
"It's not what I went to school for, but it's something to help pay the bills and help support our family," Kohl said.
"I think it's great, even if it is just for seasonal. It's a job, and right now I'll take anything," Cindy Pagels from Manitowoc said.
The applicants going through the process today are looking for seasonal work. However, Ariens says it's constantly looking for ways to grow profits and staff.
"Handlebars, for instance, for our snow blowers were previously made on the outside, and we've been able to design our own equipment, our own handlebars, and we brought that inside, which has created jobs for here in Brillion," Hebbard said.