The Economic Development Agency (EDA) for both Jackson County and DeKalb county have combined to have a joint job fair on June 16 at Northeast Community College (NACC).
“With the economy being like it and the saying that Governor [Kay] Ivey is cutting off the unemployment money and all that on June 19, we want to do something to try to help our industries that are hurting looking for people. So we worked with the DeKalb county EDA, all the chambers [of commerce], the Fort Payne chamber, the Rainsville chamber and the Mountain Lakes chamber and we got together to do a job fair,” President and CEO of the Jackson County EDA Nathan Lee said. “It’s going to be an outdoor event, it’s going to be a combination of Jackson and DeKalb county industries and businesses so we hope it’s a huge event. We’re open to the public for them to come. Before school was out, we let all the counselors know that we’re having this so it’s been given to all the seniors that are graduated so we’re just trying to do something different to get people to work and try to fill in the gaps of all these industries and businesses that are hurting for people so if we can do a small part, that’s what we’re trying to do.”
There have already been 22 industries and businesses signed up to be at the job fair for Jackson County alone, with more being added daily. Lee estimates that with the area NACC provided them, they could fit over 100 businesses around the property.
“We’re going to have them sitting in certain locations and try to divide it by sectors. So if you are looking for a job in the medical field, we’re going to have tables just for the medical field or if you have an industry, we’re going to prop them in sectors by industry,” Lee said.
Among the 22 industries that’s contacted the EDA about the job fair are hospitals, multiple industries, local businesses, fast food, Coca Cola and Pepsi. Some businesses outside of Jackson and DeKalb county have also contacted about the job fair but were turned down due to this being exclusively a Jackson and DeKalb county event.
As for anyone attending the job fair, it’s recommended on the job fair flyer to have resumes ready and to arrive dressed for interviews. It’s also suggested to be ready to be hired on-site.
“I think if an industry is able to hire one person, [the job fair] has been effective because that’s one person they didn’t have walking through their door. I’ll be happy if we see 20 people but I’d like to see 200 people there, it’s hit or miss,” Lee said. “I don’t want people to say that the EDA is not trying to help us put people to work or help us find workers. I’ll do a job fair every day if it helps our industries out.”
If people are unable to attend the job fair, there are also a number of resources one can use to find employment. The Alabama Career Center and Alabama Works are websites where companies post job openings regularly.