Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2001

study prospects, offers by 51 companies

Nissan Project Coordinator Assistant Vicki Hanna, right, talks with Jim Vantrease of Eagle Lake about job openings at the Nissan Plant Tuesday. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[08/08/01] Applicants and employers came from all over Tuesday and made Vicksburg’s third job fair the most successful yet.

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According to the tally from registration cards, 40 communities in Mississippi, nine in Louisiana, one in Oklahoma and one in Michigan were represented by about 2,000 job-seekers, up about 200 from the 2000 event. Fifty-one potential employers were represented.

“We’ve gotten some very good resumes,” said Vicki Hanna, an employee of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission who was helping at the booth of Nissan North America.

Pointing to a stack of resumes nearly 8 inches high, Hanna said the MESC will evaluate them according to Nissan’s standards and forward the acceptable ones to the company.

It was first time Nissan has participated in the Vicksburg Job Fair since announcing its Canton truck and van plant last November. The plant, to open in about a year, is expected to employ up to 2,000 people.

“I attended a job fair in New Orleans last year and it was not as good as this one,” said Thomas Carter, a representative of Schneider National trucking company, at his booth in the Vicksburg Convention Center.

His company was looking for drivers, and Carter said he was pleased with the quantity and quality of applicants.

Maybe Private Home Care of Vicksburg is not in the same league as a Nissan or a Schneider, but their employee needs are just as important to them. “We’ve been doing well,” said Sharon Dallriza, director.

She said Private Home Care was looking for people and had a number of serious inquiries and applications.

“This also lets us get our name out before the public,” she said, adding the exposure may help generate more business.

Local jobless rates have been at or below national rates for the past few years. Many at the fair had jobs, but were exploring other opportunities.

Computer System Technology and Quality Research representative Tiffani Washington said the companies that shared a booth had some very specific computer specialist needs. “We had a lot of people visit,” she said.

“This is one of the best job fairs we’ve ever had,” said Joe Buckner, the director of the Job Fair from the Mississippi Employment Security Commission. “We’ve had more applicants and they have been better prepared.”

Buckner added he did not doubt there were some firm job offers extended during the event.