On March 4, 2019, the packed gym at the Booker T. Washington Community Center (BTWCC) proved the success of the first job fair organized by the city of Rocky Mount, North Carolina’s Parks and Recreation Department. Connecting over 500 job seekers with more than 30 local employers left no room for doubt that there is a strong and active workforce available in the area.
With vacancies in everything from production and manufacturing to forklift drivers and maintenance personnel, Megan Pierce and Jennifer Gold with Holden Temporaries were excited about the turnout for the city’s career expo.
“It’s a very good turnout,” said Gold. “We are always looking for good help.”
Job seeker Chalera Parker of Rocky Mount learned about the fair through a friend and saw it advertised on Facebook. As someone looking for a better job, she realized the value of having so many resources in one place.
“This brings a lot of people who are unemployed and looking for better jobs somewhere to come and be able to apply all at once,” commented Parker. “It gives everybody a great opportunity to find what they are looking for.”
The idea of hosting a job fair came from the BTWCC staff. Jamel Pitt and Jessica Davis took the idea and created a space where career seekers could not only meet prospective employers but were able to apply for a job on the spot.
“A lot of staff mentioned that, aside from it being a good idea to host a job fair, some residents don’t have the resources centrally available to them to either find a job or find a better job,” Pitt said.
After seeing the success of this job fair, Pitt looks to host another one in the fall.
“Hopefully we can make this bigger and better,” explained Pitt. “We have people in this city who are willing and need to work, and employers who need good employees. Bringing them together helps everybody.”
Companies looking to increase their workforce included McLane, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, Bridgestone, Pfizer Rocky Mount, Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant and multiple city of Rocky Mount departments. Several temporary staffing agencies and the Rocky Mount Event Center were also recruiting staff members.
According to Director Elton Daniels, the 2019 Job Fair is just the beginning.
“The Parks and Recreation Department has been a staple in this community for quite some time. I am very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful team,” stated Daniels. “As we honor the past, we look forward to engaging the community in various innovative ways.”
Source: Tameka Kenan-Norman and Jessie Nunery, City of Rocky Mount