Those needing employment and employers needing employees will have a chance to meet all at one place in Laramie.

The High Altitude Manufacturing Partnership (HAMP) will host an inaugural business expo and job fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the Albany County Fairgrounds Activities Building located at 3510 S. Third St.

Job seekers and curious community members will be able to hobnob with local employers, eat from local food trucks, learn about the manufacturing industry in Laramie and enjoy the excitement of a long-awaited community gathering. As an added bonus, Altitude Brewing will be serving their craft beers from noon-2 p.m.

ABOUT HAMP

HAMP had its first official meeting in January 2019. During this first meeting, 14 manufacturers attended including; Avvid, HiViz, Ancient Elements, Tray Pacer System, Modern Printing, MilliporeSigma, High Plains Biochar, Electrichlor, Veritek, Henningsen Woodshop and Resono Pressure Systems.

According to Mandy Davis, human resources generalist for HiViz and co-convener for HAMP, the partnership places a high focus on educating the community about manufacturing jobs in Laramie.

She explained HAMP was born from a national organization called NextGen, which has the mission of educating people on the needs for the next generation of workforce. Each partnership has its own goal, and Albany County’s mission is to focus on manufacturing.

“People don’t know how many manufacturers are actually in Laramie,” Davis said. She added even she didn’t know what her company fully did until she was hired there.

“HAMP is an organization in the greater Laramie area. We try to find areas where businesses have needs, and we help each other with events. We also interact with the university and the community college to help develop programs,” Eric Nyberg said. Nyberg is the quality and technology development manager for Tungsten Parts Wyoming, a locally headquartered factory that produces tungsten parts. He explained HAMP has helped Laramie County Community College build up its programs, assisted with curriculum and provided experts who could assist in teaching certain courses.

Nyberg added that Tungsten Parts Wyoming is a member of HAMP, and was interested in hiring.

He recognizes the business expo as a great opportunity to inform the community about the available jobs.

AN EDUCATIONAL, FUN EVENT

“We thought it would be a great idea to get together post-COVID, and create a way to collaborate with other businesses, meet other people and network. Through COVID, there hasn’t been an opportunity to do that,” said Taylor Timmis, the business representative for the Department of Workforce Services in Albany County. She said that the most important thing for the community to know about the event is that everyone is welcome — businesses, job seekers and community members across the gamut. She and the other organizers want people to come and learn about manufacturing and other opportunities in the community.

Although the mission of HAMP is to educate about manufacturing businesses in Albany County, there will be a spectrum of employers present at the expo. As of a few days before the event, Timmis said they have 46 businesses signed up to attend.

“Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resume. But, it’s not super formal. Everyone’s welcome,” Timmis said.

Gov. Mark Gordon will also be in attendance, and has agreed to open the event. Gordon’s presence could be an auspicious moment, particularly as the expo will occur a week before Wyoming will bow out of the federal COVID-era unemployment programs. If people are in need of more gainful employment in the aftermath of this statewide policy, then a job fair might be an excellent opportunity and resource.

After the expo and job fair winds down, there will be a networking event starting at 2 p.m. for businesses. Davis said that it’s meant to be a relaxed and fun gathering for local businesses to catch up.

In what has been a difficult year without many opportunities for larger community events, the HAMP business expo and job fair is poised to be a family-friendly event that is enjoyable, educational and social gathering for the community.

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