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More than 1,500 jobs open at job fair
Wednesday event to have most positions ever available
Sunday, August 18, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin staff writer
More vacant positions than ever will be available at the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual job fair this week.
The fair, which is open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. until noon Wednesday at the National Guard Armory on Commonwealth Boulevard.
Forty area employers will participate, and they will have more than 1,500 jobs up for grabs, said chamber President Amanda Witt.
That is a record number of openings for the fair, Witt said. She noted that only about 800 jobs were available during last year’s fair, although 42 employers participated then.
Most jobs that were available at last year’s fair were with manufacturers, she recalled.
Yet “we open the fair to everybody,” Witt said, “all employers in the area, big and small.”
“We really have an array of openings right now in the community,” which is why there will be a lot of diversity among job vacancies at Wednesday’s fair, she said.
Not only will employers in Henry County and Martinsville take part, but also some in Patrick County, Danville, Pittsylvania County and Roanoke as well as Eden, N.C., and Reidsville, N.C., she said.
Participating employers will include Memorial Hospital, Drake Extrusion, ICF International, Eastman, the Martinsville schools, Nilit, Ply Gem, Shenandoah Furniture, The Results Companies, GSI Commerce, Invista and Essel Propack. Some retailers, including Food Lion and Maurices, also will participate.
Kelly Flippin, manager of Maurices at Liberty Fair Mall, said the women’s clothing store will participate in the job fair this year because it has some positions it needs to fill, including an associate manager’s job.
That job is hard to fill, Flippin said, because it involves training for about six months at the Martinsville store before being transferred to another store in another community to be the store manager.
“It’s hard to find people with experience in running a retail business who are willing to relocate,” she said.
Some employers will ask job fair visitors to fill out applications and perhaps undergo preliminary interviews before they are contacted to arrange formal interviews, Witt said.
However, some employers will choose to do formal interviews on the spot, so “some folks will walk out of there (the fair) with jobs,” she emphasized.
For that reason, she encourages visitors to bring their résumés and “dress to impress” company officials responsible for hiring,” she said.
Dressing to impress means dressing appropriately. That means, for instance, someone pursuing a job at a corporate office might wear a suit or a dress, but for a person pursuing a manufacturing job, khaki pants and a collared shirt probably would suffice, according to Witt.
It would be inappropriate to bring children to the job fair because visitors should be focused on the people interviewing them, not keeping up with their children, chamber officials said.
Following past job fairs, the chamber has received positive feedback from participating employers. Witt said most employers find new employees with skills to do the jobs.
Patrick Henry Community College and the Virginia Workforce Center are helping the chamber sponsor Wednesday’s fair.