Thursday, October 13, 2011
Job Fair planning underway
By SUE WATSON
A good crowd gathered at Annie’s Restaurant September 21 to begin planning the 2012 Marshall/Benton Area Job Fair.
The date for the fair is set for Thursday, March 8, next year. Rust College agreed to host the fair at the W.A. McMillan sports complex.
Adam Todd, director of the Mississippi Job Fair Network, congratulated the efforts of this year’s fair citing figures – 800 job seekers, 389 resumes submitted, 311 on-site interviews, 121 jobs offered the day of the fair and 145 jobs offered as a result of the fair. Some of those who attended received calls to work three or more months after the fair, he said.
The success of the fair depends on the community's effort to create a good environment where job seekers can meet and interview with employers who have real job openings at the time of the fair, Todd said.
“Y’all look at it, that’s huge – over 10 percent of the people who came looking for work got a job offer.”
In addition to the matching of prospective employee with employer in a face-to-face interview, the fair has an economic spin-off for the community where it is held, he said. Employers attending the fair buy gas, eat at restaurants, rent rooms, and buy necessities.
“Many things happen at the jobs fair for the local community,” he said. “I am hearing more and more that the impact from having a job fair lasts much longer than that one day. Last year, a man got a job three months later at an automobile manufacturing plant. His application was found when they were flipping through the stack and they called him. Sometimes people get job offers six months after attending a job fair.
“We are providing hope for someone who is trying to keep the lights on and food on the table.”
The Rust College site for the fair has brought praise for the college from the standpoint of a consistent location and presentation. The college spreads the red carpet to the employers and to volunteers and workers from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, area WIN Job Centers, the college and from high schools in the area.
Comments on exit interviews from employers included – well organized, nice turnout, everyone very friendly, well put together.
Local organizations will help job seekers to prepare a resume, get ready for a face-to-face interview, and know how to dress for the interview by dressing in business attire.
For the present time, fair planners are seeking to line up employers who will attend the fair and present their job opportunities. Any business or industry or organization that expects to have job opportunities in March 2012, is invited to contact the Governor’s Job Fair Network at www.jobfairs.ms.gov or call the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce at 662-838-8128 or Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce at 662-252-2943.
It is not too early to begin planning for success in March 2012.
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