Somerset County Commissioner Jim Marker said next week’s job fair will be yet another chance to dispel the misperception that well-paying opportunities aren’t available in the county.

Through the years, Marker said, he routinely has heard from companies looking for welders, engineers, construction workers and health-care professionals.

“One of the things we run into on a regular basis is the fact that people are saying they can’t find qualified people,” Marker said.

“There are a lot of employers who are looking for people to step into family-sustaining jobs here. The job fair will help connect the two.”

More than three dozen companies are expected to participate in the second annual fair.

Participants range from Cingular Wireless and Seven Springs to Cambria Rowe Business College and the Air Force.

Ron Aldom, executive director of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, said a new Web site – somersetpajobs.com – has been launched to include all businesses participating in the job fair, and the workshops available that day.

“It’s a great thing to know there are jobs available,” Aldom said. “Our companies are needing people.”

Last year, about 600 people attended the fair, divided among the unemployed and those seeking better jobs.

Workshops will be held three times during the day on careers in civil service; building trades; advanced materials/manufacturing; hospitality; energy and natural resources; health care and information technology.

“It’s a time for returning veterans and their families to hook up with employers, and also a time for employers to find trained veterans,” said Merritt Nord, veterans employment representative for Somerset CareerLink.

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