Hundreds of job seekers turn out at VCC for annual event

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Patric Wilson clutched several brochures and a few job applications as she walked among the forest of different booths looking for that perfect job.

“I’ve really just got here,” she said. “There are a lot of interesting companies.”

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Wilson, who is a certified pharmacy technician and looking to find a job in the health care field, was one of the 500 people who walked through the doors of the Vicksburg Convention Center’s exhibition hall Tuesday, hoping their efforts would land a job with one of the companies that had set up booths during the annual event.

Forty exhibitors, including casinos, industries, car dealerships, state and county agencies, law enforcement — including the FBI — and area universities were set up in the exhibition office, offering jobseekers a possibility of landing a job or taking courses that would help them qualify for a better job.

Vicksburg police Capt. Penny Jones said people were stopping by the police department’s booth, adding, “We’ve had more women fill out applications than men.”

A popular booth was set up by Ameristar Casino. Talent business partner Francine Cheeks said the casino had a number of openings including the casino’s sports betting area, and provided a list of 52 positions the casino was looking to fill.

“We are especially looking for dealer school applicants,” she said.

Maggie Cain, human resources manager for International Paper’s mill in Redwood, said activity at the company’s booth “has been pretty good. We’ve had a lot of different people stop by to learn more about us and to see what positions were available.”

Cain said the plant posts its job openings in July, adding the most sought after jobs are in production and maintenance.

“We’re here to talk with people and remind them that International Paper has a plant in Redwood.”

One of the people stopping by the International Paper booth was Rodney Warfield, who was looking for a manufacturing job.

“It’s going really well,” he said. “I came down here to see what the companies had to offer, and picked up a few applications. I haven’t filled any thing yet.”

Another jobseeker was Kala Knight, a former Vicksburg resident who moved to Dixon, Tennessee, and recently moved back home.

“I just moved in yesterday and I’m looking for a job,” she said. “I found out about this yesterday and came here to see what I could find.”

Robert Rosenthall Jr. and Sedonia Rosenthall had recently moved to Vicksburg from the Oakland, California, area and were at the convention center looking for opportunities.

Robert, a county probation officer in California, was looking for a career change. Sedonia, who worked in business operations for a medical facility, was looking for something in the same area.

“I talked with a lady at one of the casinos about a position, and she was very encouraging,” she said. “I’m going to call her back tomorrow, and we’ll see where it goes.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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