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Workforce Development Job Fair attracts hundreds

Hundreds of job seekers in the Tri-State got a chance to talk with

potential employers at the Workforce Development Resource Center’s fourth annual Job Fair Wednesday at Ohio University Southern Campus.

"We have had great success. This is more than we expected," said Pam Monceaux, work experience program coordinator and client services coordinator for the WDRC.

"Because we live in the Tri-State, we need to pool resources. We are here to make as many resources and opportunities available as possible."

Some of the 40 to 50 companies present included Vandyke, Inc., Duke Energy Hanging Rock, Big Sandy Furniture, Heiner’s Bakery, King’s Daughters Medical Center, Amazon.com and the Lawrence County Community Action Organization’s Head Start Program.

Many potential employees said they were impressed with the opportunities available at the fair.

"I am surprised at how wide a variety of businesses are here," Bryan Payne of Ironton, said. "It is hard for young people like me who don’t know all the methods of finding a job. It's nice when they come out here to you."

Robin Willis of Coal Grove was recently laid off from her job at the Lawrence County Courthouse and said this is a nice opportunity for her because this is the first time she has been unemployed in 12 years.

"We need good companies that will stay in this area," she said. "I would rather work in my home area."

Ironton resident Aaron Houston, a junior computer science major at OUS, said he talked to 90 percent of the employers and was waiting to do a few interviews.

"I think this is awesome," Houston said. "It puts students in contact with people who want to hire them."

Overall, the companies present also were optimistic about the potential of the fair.

Chris Tatum, a recruiter for KDMC, said they have participated in all four job fairs and always get a good response.

"They do a good job of putting this on," he said. "It is a good thing for us and gives us a chance to get out and talk with a lot of people."

Chris Sutton, from KVC, a behavioral healthcare network in Huntington, said they have gotten several resumes that look good and that the fair was very well organized.

"We are impressed and we will be back if they do another one," he said. "The perception is that there are no jobs in this region. This can show graduates that there are."

A representative for the Hanging Rock facility of Duke Energy Enterprises, Scott Jolley, said he was pleased with the reception by the community and the interest in the plant.

"This shows that the community is trying to help people be successful and businesses can come together," Jolley said. "We appreciate all the work the folks at the WDRC do." Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune