A job fair was held Thursday evening at MSU Meridian. With unemployment rates hovering around 10% throughout our area, finding a job right now is a difficult task. With some successful self promotion, area job seekers were able to put their best foot forward in the hunt for employment.
Open for guests to fill out applications. That kind of message is what attracted so many job seekers to the Second Annual MSU-MCC College and Job Fair. The two schools teamed up to provide opportunities and combat the high unemployment rate.
"I think that the businesses want to support the community just as much as these two colleges do. The businesses understand the economic times that we are in and they want to provide opportunities to get information to prospective employees," explains Barbara Jones, the Vice President of Operations at Meridian Community College.
"And the fact that people sometimes don't know what to do or where to go to get a job and I think the two education institutions thought people need jobs but need to know the education to get that so why not pair them together," describes Lisa Sollie, the Admissions Counselor at MSU Meridian.
Besides the two colleges, 23 different businesses participated in the job fair. I spoke with representatives from three of those businesses, all of which say the job fair provides a great recruiting tool.
"It's worked out well for us. We've hired several positions. And we've been successful in the past with candidates," says Jack Bryan, the Director of Human Resources at Hol-Mac Corporation.
"We're trying to get applicants for future openings that we have. We have an applicant poll that we keep so that we can go back," says Ralph Severance with Meridian's Citizens National Bank.
"So far, we've appointed six people, put them to work. We've talked to at least 50 people who are in need of making money," says Jacque Meloche, an Avon representative.
But six people is not enough for Avon Representatives. They're hoping to hire at least 10 individuals because they realize just how badly people need a job.
"There's a lot of people who do not have jobs. They're needing an income. Some people are supplementing and some people actually need a full time job," describes Meloche.
Over 300 people attended last year's job fair. Organizers were expecting even more this year. Depending on the need, the two schools will consider pursuing this in the future.