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Labor shortage will be topic of conference

WILLMAR — Finding people for jobs that are available in Kandiyohi County will be theme of conference Thursday

“To put it bluntly, we have lots and lots of jobs here in the Willmar area!” Mary Warszynski, Employment Plus general manager, wrote in a news release announcing the event. “We have entry level jobs, good paying manufacturing jobs, jobs for skilled labor, professional jobs … the problem is not jobs.”

To address that challenge, Employment Plus, a professional recruiting firm in Willmar, is hosting HR Matters, a conference with local speakers discussing the local labor shortage.

The event, intended for local business owners and managers, will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.

Todd Kleinhuizen of Johnson, Moody, Schmidt and Kleinhuizen of Willmar will discuss the “Ban the Box’’ law and will discuss how this affects when and under what circumstances an employer can ask about a potential employee’s criminal background.

Vicky Sanders from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry will talk about workplace violence, which is more common than people think. Isaac Morehouse, entrepreneur and CEO of Praxis, will discuss a new approach to combining real world experience with education.

Warszynski said the conference is meant to teach, explain, identify and amuse the audience about current issues concerning the existing workforce and the potential workforce.

“This event will be short, sweet, and to the point,” Warszynski stated in the release.

“It’s time to have a serious discussion about the labor shortage here in west central Minnesota,” Warszynski wrote. “We can’t continue pretending that it will go away, or worse, that it doesn’t exist.”