Big turnout for Unified Brands career fair

Published 8:03 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

Kevin Jones sat in a chair in a large room at Unified Brands Thursday afternoon, waiting for a meeting.

“I have 25 years in shipping and receiving and driving a forklift,” he said as he waited for his interview with a company representative. “I’m praying for a blessing. I’m a single parent with two high school kids. I need a real big blessing for me.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Jones was one of the more than 200 people attending the job Fair at Unified Brands’ building on Armory Drive in the Ceres Industrial Park hoping to land one of the 30 available manufacturing jobs at the company.

The response to the ads and news articles about the job fair surprised plant officials.

“It’s been fantastic,” human resources director Angie Owens said. “We had a line of 115 people waiting at the door before 9 a.m., and within just a couple of hours, we’ve logged in a couple of 100 people. We’ve extended some offers today.”

Company officials were looking primarily for people with welding, fabrication, assembly and sheet metal skills at Thursday’s job fair. Owens said the company plans to have a total of 100 positions filled by the end of the year, and Unified Brands is expected to hold another job fair sometime in the fall. The company begins operations Oct. 1.

Besides filling out an application, people applying for jobs with Unified Brands had to go through Career Readiness Certification through Hinds Community College.

Owens said the certification is being used by the company as a screening tool  “as part of our selection process to help us make decisions about the talent that we bring in — having the basic math and reading and informational skills to do the basics of our jobs.”

Unified Brands opened Aug. 25 with a special ceremony. The company is transferring work to Warren County from company locations in Oklahoma, Michigan and Byram, and also plans new product launches.

Owens said workers from the company’s Byram and Oklahoma plants will be relocating to the county.

She said the company anticipates hiring more positions in 2019.

She said the available positions are listed on the company’s website at

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.

email author More by John