Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2000

people line up for third annual job fair

Ameristar Casino games trainer Liz Roland demonstrates techniques to job seekers at the third annual job fair Tuesday.(The Vicksburg Post/Gregorie Ream)

Vicksburg’s third comprehensive job fair saw more people looking for jobs and more potential employers looking for people to fill posts.

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Organizers counted more than 1,800 job-seekers at this year’s event, compared with 1,600 last year despite the lowest local jobless rates in decades.

“We were looking to fill at least five positions,” said Donna Hardy, a representative of the Warren Yazoo Mental Health Center.

Hardy said the slots ranged from those that can be filled by people who have just graduated from high school through those requiring community college degrees, all the way to posts that need someone with a master’s degree. Although she was a bit disappointed because few college graduates were at the Vicksburg Convention Center for the daylong event, she was pleased with her organization’s decision to participate.

Ramona Goff was another hopeful, but as a job-seeker.

“I’ve been in retail sales all my life,” she said as she worked at one of the many tables filling out yet another application.

Although largely self-taught in many office and business procedures, Goff said she felt she could handle most office jobs and was looking for something in that line.

When contacted about mid-afternoon, Goff said she had not been able to find exactly what she was looking for, but she was still optimistic something would turn up at the fair or after potential employers had a chance to look over the collected applications.

Vince Nunez, a recruiter for Canal Barge Line of Belle Chasse, La., said he did not make any offers to the people who filled out applications with his company.

“I prefer to wait until I run full background checks and check their references,” he said.

In spite of that, Nunez said he would probably make some job offers.

Marguerite Wall of Hinds Community College said she was the person keeping the tally of those attending and said 1,300 to 1,400 people had registered by 2 p.m.

Joe Buckner, another of the planners who works with the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, said 59 employers showed up for this year’s fair, more than last year.

“I was told one employer made eight job offers in the first hour,” he said.

The Chamber of Commerce was also an organizer.