Middle Georgia Tech career fair hooks up employers with jobseekers

Just a few months ago, Markus Reshard graduated from Warner Robins High School.

Now, after completing a stint at a Sonic Drive-In, he is looking for a job to hold him over until he can enter the U.S. Air Force. In the past two months, he has submitted 22 applications to no avail.

“People are getting laid off every day but no one is really hiring,” Reshard said.

That led him to attend Middle Georgia Technical College’s career fair, where many business people said they were hiring — despite the current state of the economy. About 500 people were expected to attend Thursday’s fair on the technical college’s Warner Robins campus, said Patrick Ivey, director of career services.

More than 20 employers, ranging from Houston Healthcare to the various military branches to the college’s barbering program, were on hand.

Ivey said that while the expo was open to the public, many of the employers represented businesses likely to have jobs for the college’s students. Yet the job fair is also directed toward those who have found themselves without a job due to unforeseen circumstances and allows them to learn what they need to get one.

“They either need new skills or additional skills to get back in the workforce,” Ivey said.

And they are anxious to work, he added.

Jean Head, who performs marketing and sales duties for The Staffing People agency, said she brought 40 applications to the fair and they were distributed within the first hour. Due to the current job market, she said, her staffing business has seen people from all walks of life including workers who had been let go from the banking and health care industries.

Head spent much of her day dispensing advice, noting that it all starts with a good resume.

“You need to hit on your advantages,” Head advised. “It just needs to be good.”

Nichole Brinson, salon manager for SmartStyle Family Hair Salon, said there is a critical need for hairdressers at the chain’s shops in Middle Georgia, which are housed in Wal-Mart SuperCenters. People still need their hair done and the salon still needs the people to do hair.

“Our business has not slowed down. We need people in mass quantities,” Brinson said, adding that the job expo allowed her to interact with the college’s cosmetology students.

Danielle Hill, a recruiter for Houston Healthcare, also had jobs available, specifically in nursing and clinical support. She said when she first showed up, she found that many of the interested attendees were looking into the health care and administrative side of the business.

Like Brinson, Hill was introduced to a lot of the college’s students and was able to inform them about other occupations in the health care field.

“This allows you to put a face with the resume,” Hill said.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.