Don’t miss the job fair

Published 9:32 pm Thursday, July 25, 2013

Headlines about national employment over the past several months led with these phrases: “Solid but not spectacular,” “No unemployment thaw in sight,” “Jobs report shows steady growth,” “Economy runs in place,” “Jobs report: upside surprise,” “Not good enough” and “Hiring beats expectations.”

So where does national employment actually stand? If anything, these headlines demonstrate just how shaky the job market still is, as well as how subjective the interpretations of the jobs numbers can be. Many Americans are left wondering — what exactly does this data mean for me?

The answer is different for every American. The recent college graduate looking for an entry-level job will have a different job outlook than someone changing career paths. An individual looking to re-enter the workforce will view a jobs report differently than those facing fewer hours because of furloughs.


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Collectively, however, the fact remains that there are still fewer people employed and fewer jobs available today than in 2008, when the recession began. There are real concerns about the long-term health of our nation’s economy. We have real work still to do to create an environment that leads to a ripe job market for all Americans, no matter where they are in their career journeys.

In order to encourage job creation in America, I believe government needs to get out of the way and provide the freedom for small businesses to work, earn and achieve. I have published on my website policies I support and steps I have taken to strengthen our economy and help job creators, including steps to address regulations, reform our tax system, and reinvigorate manufacturing, among others.

Each solution follows a simple truth — government should act as an enabler rather than a barrier to economic growth.

In addition, it is important to connect job seekers with potential employment opportunities in our communities, as well as provide resources to help individuals build the skills necessary to be competitive in the job market.

In the coming weeks, I am hosting two job fairs in the Fourth Congressional District. The job fairs, held in Chesterfield and Chesapeake, are free and open to all constituents who are interested in learning about available jobs with area businesses.

In addition to meeting with area businesses, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with experts on resume writing, interviewing and job searching.

My hope is for these events to serve as a catalyst for employers and potential employees to form constructive relationships and to learn about the opportunities available in our region and in the Fourth Congressional District.

The Chesapeake event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at Greenbrier Middle School, located at 1016 Greenbrier Parkway.

Attendance is free, but registration for attendees is required. Register online at

Congressman J. Randy Forbes represents Virginia’s Fourth District, which includes Suffolk, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Visit his website at