With many area employers still having a hard time filling job openings, the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s flagship event will feature advice on attracting and keeping workers.

More than a third of businesses signed up for the chamber’s annual Business Expo and Job Fair on Oct. 16 at the YMCA Sports Center will be taking applications for open positions.

As was the situation when he started the job as the chamber’s president and CEO in summer 2017, Dave Minor said he continues to encounter businesses struggling to fill their ranks.

“Some of them are literally looking for bodies to get things done,” he said.

So for this year’s slate of seminars during the expo, all three will give businesses advice on how to recruit or retain employees.

“We’re going more toward the business angle and helping our members recruit,” said Becky Seelen, the chamber’s program and administrative services director.

About 140 businesses had signed up by last week, nearing the 150 from last year’s expo.

More than a third of those exhibitors will have orange balloons tied to their booths — signaling that they’re accepting applications for open jobs.

Workers for more than 150 positions ranging from cooks, waiters, drivers, custodians, mechanics, laborers, radiological technicians, nurses and computer systems analysts are being sought.

To help lure in potential candidates for employers, the chamber is again offering free admission to those who bring a copy of their resume on Oct. 16 — something the organization tried last year.

“It worked out well,” Seelen said.

Aside from opening a half-hour earlier, the format of the business expo will be the same as previous years.

The annual expo serves multiple purposes: promoting companies to fellow businesses and the public, connecting with potential hires and professional networking.

Contact: 715-833-9204, andrew.dowd@ecpc.com, @ADowd_LT on Twitter