Thursday, March 29, 2012
Job Fair successful
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall-Benton Area Job Fair March 8 drew a steady stream of job seekers from high school and college students to those who have been out of school for a while.
The caliber of the applicants this year was impressive, said Adam Todd with the Mississippi Job Fair Network.
“The recruiters are impressed with the quality of the job seekers attending the fair,” he said. “Somebody’s doing something right around here.”
Seniors from Holly Springs High School impressed recruiters by showing up well dressed, he said.
“They looked sharp in their coats and ties,” Todd said. “Some big companies are saying this is a very sharp group.”
Some colleges and universities, as well as local school districts, were also seeking staffing as well as looking for promising students.
“It’s skills, attitude, everything,” said Ann Marie Jenkins, recruiter for Job Corps in Mississippi.
Job Corps booked five positions and saw two of its former graduates coming through looking for jobs and thanking them, Jenkins said, for the opportunity to learn at Job Corps.
Recruiters for the Whiteville Correctional Center (Corrections Corporation of America), out of Tennessee, said they offer a variety of jobs ranging from correctional officers, to registered nurses, to licensed practical nurses, to academic and vocational instructors to records clerks.
New at this year’s fair was ION Media Networks, an independent television network that has 60 stations scattered over America and in all major cities. Terry Digel said she was impressed with the applicants who were knowledgeable, friendly and polite.
Olin/Winchester in Oxford was recruiting for five open positions. Champion Awards was looking for three specific job openings, particularly sales representatives. The business is upgrading, said Bill Kinkade with Champion Awards.
Kenisha Houston, a graduate of American InterContinental University who holds an MBA, discussed her 15-year career with FedEx Ground in Olive Branch. She started on the ground floor working two years as a package handler, before moving on up in the company. She loves her job and the intrinsic rewards it brings.
“One of my greatest passions is working for FedEx Ground,” she said. “I have a great passion for recruiting package handlers and watching their career grow. We are finding great talent to do the job.”
FedEx has a rapid turnover and a cyclic turnover of package handlers because it is a part-time job geared to help lots of college students supplement their income, Houston said.
“We hire year around and are always having to replace people as they go on to other jobs or get promoted,” she said. “Sixty to 70 percent of handlers move on up to management.”
Houston said FedEx offers an attractive tuition reimbursement program for its employees with stipends available every year. At the job fair in Holly Springs she talked with promising high school students, whom she could not offer a job, she said, until they graduate. She said there was a good mix of applicants at this fair.
“As a recruiter, I am one who will give a high school graduate a shot,” she said.
Thanks to employers who attended the fair. They included Alabama Agricultural Mechanical University; Antoinelli College; Arkansas Department of Human Services; Averitt Express; BDC Consultants/Staffing; CCA Hardeman County Correctional/Whiteville Correctional; Champion Awards Inc.; Delta Technical College; Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; FedEx Ground; Holly Springs School District; J&J Hair Design College; Kelly Services; Kirkwood National; Marshall Benton WIN Job Center; Minact Inc/Finch-Henry Job Corps Center; Mississippi Army National Guard; Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services; Mississippi Radio Group; ION Media; Bethel University; The University of Mississippi-Desoto; Mississippi State Personnel Board; Mississippi State University Teacher Education Program; Newly Weds Foods; Northwest Mississippi Community College; Olin/Winchester; PEC Premier; Rust College; Rust College Community Development Corporation; Select Staffing; the GEO Group/Marshall County Correctional Facility; Tower Loan; and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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