Job fair attracts north Iowa community

OSAGE, Iowa – Nearly 100 applications are filed in a little over an hour for positions at one of north Iowa’s newest companies.

Nearing the completion of their $ 146-million-dollar complex in Osage, Valent BioSciences is now in the process of hiring applicants for their production staff.

While they’ve already hired almost half of their staff, today’s job fair is helping to bring jobs to the north Iowa community.

For applicant, Becky Meek, she’s searching for office work and is optimistic VBC might just be the place.

“It’s already employed a lot of people but yeah it’s great for the community and the people that they are going to employ and just the people it’s going to bring to the community that weren’t here before,” said Meek.

As plant manager, Karen Richards has a hand in helping to hire employees from around the country but says she believes it’s just as important to employ from our area.

“We have some folks we’ve brought in from different areas and so it’s bringing some diversity to the area but also than relying on our local labor force in terms of some production operator positions and some of our maintenance. So I think the excitement is about building something from the ground up,” said Richards.

As an industry leader in biorational products, production includes a broad range of substances used in agriculture and public health.

To put in simpler terms, Richards gives an example of how they develop a pesticide for the control of caterpillars on a variety of vegetable crops. The biorational developed for the pest would only target caterpillars and would not have an adverse effect on any other organisms such as fish, bees, birds or other mammals.

Senior project manager, Bill Bishop says he’s excited to expand business to an area known for embracing advancements in agriculture.

“To see what was formerly some great agricultural land out here converted into something that will support agricultural community going forward is just fantastic,” said Bishop.

“We have some activities at the end of this month and the middle of June so we feel very proud and excited about where were at and the best is yet to come,” said Richards.

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to their job fair Thursday, another one is scheduled from 7 am to noon, Friday morning at the VBC plant located at 2142 350th street, Osage.

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