Job fair elicits 340 offers on site

CORINTH – In the first hour of Tuesday’s Northeast Mississippi WIN Job Fair, more than 700 job-seekers had flowed through the doors of the Crossroads Arena.
Those numbers didn’t surprise Joe Buckner, director of the Governor’s Job Fair Network.
“I was not surprised at the number of applicants,” Buckner said. “What did surprise me was the number of employers with real job opportunities in this economy.”
Now in its fifth year, the job fair in previous years has attracted as many as 1,000 applicants with as many as 500 job offers made on site.
The longest lines were for Northrop-Grumman, a Gulf Coast employer known for its government shipbuilding contracts.
Andre Taylor of Selmer, Tenn., was one of dozens of applicants who lined up and submitted applications.
“I got laid off when Reitter & Schefenacker in Selmer closed down in 2007,” Taylor said. “Since then I’ve been training as a machinist and expect to finish the program by December.”
Taylor said he also filled out an application with Roll Form Group of Iuka.
Like Taylor, Nancy Waddle of Belmont has taken advantage of retraining that was offered after she was laid off from the furniture manufacturer where she worked.
“I finished my physical therapy degree in May, but previously worked in drafting and design,” she said. “I left some resumes, but Baptist has shut down its wellness center and Magnolia doesn’t have anything right now. The WIN Job Center may have a new opening.”
Waddle is working part-time at two restaurants right now, and is open to job prospects in either drafting and design or physical therapy.
Before the five-hour job fair ended, about 1,500 applicants had attended, and employer surveys indicated the 40 employers on site had received 1,859 resumes and made 340 job offers, Buckner said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal