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In 2013, hundreds of jobseekers line up to enter a job fair at the Salvation Army building on Bank Street. Attendance at the event far outstripped what organizers were expecting, prompting them to move it this year to King’s Fork Middle School.
In 2013, hundreds of jobseekers line up to enter a job fair at the Salvation Army building on Bank Street. Attendance at the event far outstripped what organizers were expecting, prompting them to move it this year to King’s Fork Middle School.

Larger venue for job fair

Published 8:30pm Monday, June 30, 2014

After 2013’s inaugural event choked the Salvation Army’s Bank Street building with jobseekers, the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority is moving its job fair to a much larger venue.

The Job Fair and Career Expo will be held in the recreation center at King’s Fork Middle School on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We got some success stories” after last year’s expo, said Michael Smith, resident services coordinator with the authority.

“We got some people said the venue was kind of small and lines were too long. This year, hopefully, there won’t be any lines; hopefully there’s enough space for everyone to come into the gym at one time.”

New this year, schools were invited to attend. Paul D. Camp Community College, Bryant and Stratton College, Averett University and Grand Canyon University, “to name a few,” signed on as exhibitors, Smith said.

Employers will include the Navy Exchange Service Command, Lowe’s, FedEx, Walmart, Securitas, the U.S. Army, Check into Cash and Suffolk Parks and Recreation, plus many more.

“FedEx is looking for drivers and warehouse workers,” Smith said. “Walmart is looking for workers.”

The event will also include employment agencies and other related businesses and organizations, including Remedy Intelligent Staffing, AppleOne, Job Corps, event co-sponsor the Virginia Employment Commission and others.

There will be 40 vendors all told, Smith said.

“This is an opportunity to enroll in a university, if you need to update your skills,” he said. “If your skills are up to date and you are ready to enter the workforce, you can come in and talk to employers.”

Smith is expecting a turnout similar to last year, when folks started lining up before 7:30 a.m. and 160 reportedly had entered the fair by 11 a.m.

“This year is going to have a larger venue and a lot more parking,” Smith said, noting that local unemployment, at 5.54 percent, remains high.

“The need is still there, and we are trying to fill that need.”

Job seekers are reminded to bring their resumes and dress professionally. Onsite interviews will be available, and the event is free.

Prior registration is not required.

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