The COVID-19 pandemic forced lay-offs and hiring freezes in some Boone County business but is causing a hiring boon and opportunities for others.

Distribution and logistics companies, in particular, need more manpower to restock grocery shelves and help mail-order companies deliver goods to homes during stay-at-home orders in force nationwide.

A website that connects Boone County employees and potential employees got an update to better serve them during the COVID-pandemic.

Boone County Economic Development Corp.’s website, Work in Boone, found online at betterinboone.org, is not a jobsite board like Monster.com, but a listing of local employers and links to their in-house job pages, which are more up-to-date than traditional job-seeking sites, Molly Whitehead, BCED executive director, said.

Work in Boone is easy to use. Just click the “click here to find a job” button to land on a page with 130 local companies listed.

“We wanted to make it simple all around,” Whitehead said.

There’s an option to filter results toward the top of the page. A job seeker in normal times may select a filter to find jobs in a particular field, such as healthcare, warehouse work, construction, or childcare, for instance.

But BCED added a new choice at the top of the list “currently hiring during COVID-19.”

There are two pages of employers seeking workers, especially in the manufacturing, warehouse and logistics sectors.

Some have hundreds of openings, while others have a handful, but they are all hiring and bringing new employees on board now while other companies have put off hiring for the time being.

This could be a great opportunity for a worker the pandemic has displaced, whether to ride out the pandemic or for a permanent career change, Whitehead said..

Some of the available jobs are full-time, while others are part-time or seasonal. Aldi had some of each posted Friday.

Walmart has a number of choices listed, as do Witham Health Services and numerous staffing agencies. RLTurner Construction in Zionsville is also hiring and FedEx in Zionsville needs package handlers immediately.

Some companies posted jobs before the pandemic hit or are posting jobs now for which they will make no hiring decisions until the impact of the crisis becomes clearer.

“Many companies have simply put a halt to hiring, “ Whitehead said. “Some are still accepting applications but not onboarding,” or bringing employees into the company.

“If a company isn’t onboarding right now, they could hire with a start date some time in the future, or keep applications on hand for later,” Whitehead said. “If it’s a job you’re interested in, I’d still apply for it. We don’t know how long this job crisis is going to last or what’s going to happen after that. I’d go ahead and get my name out there and be on the top of mind when they start to onboard and bring back employees.”
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