Job Fair sparks 474 new hires
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:00 AM
Nearly 500 people are expected to be hired following the Mid-Mississippi Job Fair which drew almost 1,000 job seekers to the Neshoba County Coliseum on Thursday.
The job fair, which was part of the Governor's Job Fair Network, was free to the public.
Thirty-eight companies and organizations had booths set up at the fair. Several were locally based, including Canal Place Cinema 7, The Citizens Bank, Edward Jones and Richardson Molding.
Based on a survey of 35 employers, 4,273 visits were made to the job fair booths by individuals.
Of that, 1,065 resumes were submitted and there were 355 on-site interviews conducted.
One-hundred and twenty-seven job offers were made during the job fair. The projected number of hires stemming from the fair was 474.
Cheryl Jerrell, the general manager with Canal Place Cinema 7, was at a booth hoping to fill several positions.
"We have one assistant manager position and then we need several concession workers and several shift leaders for our summer schedule coming up because we have so many hours," Jerrell said, noting that 11 people work at the theater right now.
Jerrell added that several of their workers were expected to leave soon and she hoped to fill those positions before they left.
Within the first two hours of the fair Jerrell had seen about 150 people.
"There are some that I am sure I would not have seen walk into the theater and put in an application," she said. "I most likely will have all of the positions filled soon if not by the end of the day."
Marcus Evans, with Hol-Mac Corporation, said the fair had been good for his company.
Just over two hours into the event he had seen just shy of 100 people and had accepted several resumes.
"I've seen a few promising people," he said.
"We're actually looking for welders at the moment and I spoke to four different young men that are currently in a welding program in Louisville and will graduate next week. I gave them my business card and told them to come see us."
Beverly Clay, with The Citizen's Bank, was at the fair seeking to fill three teller positions: a full-time position in Winston County and two part-time positions in Union and Collinsville.
"We've probably seen at least 200 people [in the past two hours] and I probably have 150 applications that have been brought back," she said. "We'll probably fill those positions in the next two weeks."
Many of the attendees were there looking for a job to apply their particular skills.
Joey Yarbrough, 22, of Winston County, was interested in the Edward Jones booth.
"I was looking at it because it has something to do with my degree," he said. "I'm getting a Business Administration degree from Mississippi State University's Meridian branch. I've also looked at the Citizen's Bank."
Yarbrough said that the fair was helpful to him.
"I think I'll be able to find something here today," he said.
Others, however, were not so confidant.
D.B. Dillard, who was in Philadelphia because of a friend who lives just outside of DeKalb, was hoping to get a maintenance tech position with the Hol-Mac Corporation.
"But at the moment he [Marcus Evans] said he didn't have anything available," he said. "I'll look around at the other booths for some other options, maybe something slightly different that I might be qualified in."
Adam Todd, director for the Governor's Job Fair Network, said the fair drew huge attendance.
"People are constantly coming in," he said. "The people coming into this event are eager and looking for work."
Todd added that a lot of interaction took place between employers and potential employees at the fair.
"The businesses that we've talked to are extremely pleased so a lot of good things are going to happen as a result of this," he said. "A lot of encouraged people are walking out of here today."
The job fairs, coordinated by the Governor's Job Fair Network are presented in conjunction with local community efforts to provide job seekers the opportunity to apply for jobs with a number of different employers in a centralized, user-friendly setting. For business and industry, the job fairs provide their human resource representatives the opportunity to interview a variety of potential employees.
For more information on future job fair, check the website at www.jobfairs.ms.gov.