Over 650 attend job fair
Published 10:19 am Friday, January 22, 2016
Wednesday’s job fair hosted by The Tidewater News and Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc., was a bigger success than anyone could have imagined. Well over 650 job-seekers attended the event, and this kept the roughly 22 vendors busy the entire time.
Not only were people from Franklin and Southampton in attendance, there were also people from Isle of Wight, Suffolk, Ahoskie, Murfreesboro and other neighboring localities.
“On behalf of Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. I was thrilled with the turn out and participation in today’s job fair. With over 650 attendees and over 20 vendors I believe we helped those in our community and those from neighboring communities make lasting connections,” President and CEO of FSEDI Amanda Jarratt said. “I witnessed hundreds of attendees filling out applications on site. Through this event we were able to partner with The Tidewater News to provide a venue for individuals and businesses to create and build relationships and match those with all skill levels to potential employment opportunities.”
The event began at 10 a.m., and when the doors opened there were already over 100 job-seekers waiting to talk to the many vendors and see what employment opportunities they had to offer.
Several of the vendors said they were extremely pleased with the turnout and found candidates they believe will be able to suit their companies well.
Virginia Regional Transit representative Judy Ashley traveled from Northern Virginia and she noted that it was well worth the trip, to be able to attend this particular job fair.
“I think it has been great. It’s been really organized and refreshing to see it flow the way it is supposed to,” Ashley said. “I’ve met a lot of people and received a lot of applications.”
She also noted that this was one of the best job fairs she has ever attended.
Donna Pope and Bonnie Roblin of Blackwater Regional Library said, “We are overwhelmed with the crowd. We’ve been able to advertise our resources and we’ve also met a few candidates who have really stuck out to us.”
Representatives from The Village at Woods Edge also added that they had met a lot of impressive people and didn’t think the event could have gone any better.
Several high school seniors attended the job fair, including a busload of students from Southampton High School. They all wanted to see what employment options they had after graduation.
Many of the seniors found interest in talking to military recruiters and companies like Smithfield Foods.
“Honestly, it exceeded our expectations from an attendance standpoint,” said Tony Clark, publisher of The Tidewater News. “The employers seemed pleased not only by the exceptional turnout, but also by the quality of many of the applicants as well. We will be seeking their feedback in the days to come in order to make future events even more successful.”
Jarratt added, “While this event took tremendous effort by many staff to coordinate, if one person obtains employment that improves their quality of life, it was all worth it. We look forward to partnering on future events of a similar nature in in our efforts to create a pathway to employment for our community.”