The “Made in Union” business expo is expected to attract large crowds this Thursday, including many job seekers.

Community Development Director Joseph Graves said more than 20 employers will be on hand at the event at Union High School.

“I have heard story after story that jobs are available,” Graves told aldermen Monday night.

The expo will be open to the public from 5-7 p.m. The event will be open to high school students only that afternoon. It is free for participants and attendees.

There will be a networking session for exhibitors from 3-5 p.m.

ADB, a utility contractor that recently located in east Union, will expand its work force to 300 employees from about 200. The company will be accepting application Thursday, Graves said.

Graves said that the event is intended for Union area manufacturers to come together in one location and display what they make.

There are more than 40 vendors who will have booths on display in the high school cafeteria.

Graves said he expects more than 2,000 to visit the expo.

“There are several elements of this event — education of the students and the public of products manufactured in Union,” Graves said. “There also are the employment opportunities in Union.

“When people become aware of the products, services and hard work that goes into what is made in Union, it creates community pride,” Graves added.

He said that the companies will have an opportunity to discuss the spectrum of careers available in the manufacturing world, including engineers, plant managers, CEOs, comptrollers and other positions.

The expo is a cooperative effort of East Central College, the Union Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Union Economic Development Department, Union R-XI School District and the Union Development Corporation.

Graves said residents from “Union, Franklin County and beyond” are invited to attend the expo.

This is the second Made in Union Expo. The first event was held in 2006.

He added that the event was so successful then, that many industries requested there be another Made in Union expo.

“I have had employers come to me and ask to do this again,” he said.

The event will include other “nonmanufacturing,” companies such as engineering firms as well.

Organizers have enlisted the help of UHS DECA members, the international association of marketing students.

The students assisted in soliciting local businesses for door prizes, developing a floor plan for the expo and will help set up for the event.

Attendance prizes in include a 42-inch LCD television, and gift certificates to Imo’s, Hall Brother’s Lumber Co. and many others.