WVPA Staff Report
BEAVER, W.Va. — West Virginia job seekers have another opportunity to connect with numerous potential employers in one location Friday, March 23
More than 148 confirmed companies are participating March 23 at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center Complex, 300 University Drive, Beaver, W.Va. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there is no cost to participants.
The Office of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is the headline presenter of the event, along with the W.Va. Higher Education Policy Commission Erma Byrd Higher Education Center.
“We have done about 25 of these (job fairs) across the state of West Virginia and they’ve been extremely successful,” said Manchin earlier this month at a similar event in South Charleston. “We’ve had thousands of people come through and many have gotten good jobs. Everyone knows the importance of a good job for the economy. We are happy to be able to help connect the dots.”
Manchin describes the job fairs as a one-stop shop.“Some people may be fearful or being rejected, because they don’t have job skills or don’t know how to fill out a resume,” said Manchin. “But we will have people there to help you get the jobs you want.”
The job fair may be just as important to the employers, Manchin said, “There are thousands of vacancies. The economy is turning around in West Virginia and the United States,” Manchin said. “It’s getting better. If we have a skilled workforce, I can attract business (to locate in West Virginia). The downturn we had in coal had a rippling effect on everything we do in West Virginia, but things have stabilized and I think people have more hope.”
Participating companies range from state and local government agencies, retail stores, unions, non-profits and higher education, among others.
Partnering with Senator Manchin’s Office for the event are WorkForce WV, Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Press Association. Assisting with the event are Bluefield State College, Concord University, Marshall University, New River Community & Technical College and West Virginia University’s Institute of Technology.
According to Manchin’s Office, similar job fairs are also planned for Bluefield on April 5, Keyser on April 13, Romney on May 1 and Martinsburg on Sept. 26.
“If each (vendor) just hired one person from today, that’s 100 new jobs in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “They’ll be more than that, so we’re excited,” Manchin said of the job fairs.
The resources available at the job fair should help the job seeking process significantly, Manchin said of the events.
“It’s a one-stop shop. We’ll help them with resumes and with connecting with the proper job. For people who already may have a job but want to move up, this is a good place to look too. It’s a tremendous opportunity.”
Manchin said he’s been told there are 10,000 jobs that need to be filled in West Virginia, in every part of the state.
“We need to make sure we get the right person with the right skillsets for those jobs,” Manchin explained. “Job fairs like this are a good place to match people up.”