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Fair matches bosses with employees

Copiah-Lincoln Community College hopes to be the link between workers wanting jobs and employers needing workers.

That will likely happen Wednesday at the college’s annual Pathways Job Fair at the Billy B. Thames Conference Center on the Wesson Campus. Though the event is presented free by Co-Lin’s Career, Technical and Workforce Education Division, it’s open to the public as well.

The fair will be divided into two sessions. The morning session from 9-11 a.m. will focus on blue collar jobs while the afternoon session from 1-3 p.m. will focus on office management, service industry and health.

Both local and regional businesses — including the Nissan plant in Canton and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula — will be available to speak with individuals with experience in truck driving, heavy machinery, automotive, diesel, welding, electronics, drafting and design, precision machining, automation and control and other related fields in the morning session.

Wednesday afternoon, employers will be ready to recruit those skilled in areas such as business office, computer networking, cosmetology, food service, child care, nursing, health information, radiology, medical lab technicians and related fields.

“We are excited about the turn-out of employers this year and encourage all job seekers to make this event a priority,” said Angela Berch, Co-Lin’s director of Workforce Education. “Individuals should plan to attend dressed for success and ready to meet with employers who are ready to accept applications and/or resumes.”

Come willing to work, said Kenny Goza, with Co-Lin’s Workforce Placement Program.

“They’re going to be taking resumes. Some of them may even interview applicants. You need to come prepared like you were applying for a job,” he said.

That means dressing to impress in at least business casual attire and bringing an updated resume.

He said this is the largest job fair they’ve offered and there will be a large variety of employers participating who want to fill vacancies in their workforce.

“They’re coming with intentions of hopefully coming to find somebody who is willing to work,” he said.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet employers that are hiring, obtain career information, establish contacts through networking and identify career, internship, and summer employment opportunities.

The job fair comes at a time when Lincoln County is seeing a jobless rate of 6.7 percent, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

Less than 1,000 people in Lincoln County were unemployed in January, MDES reported. The county at the beginning of 2017 showed a workforce of 14,640.

Lincoln County was tied for 39th place in lowest jobless rates, along with Hancock and Yalobusha counties.

The statewide jobless rate was 6.1 for January, with the national average at 5.1 percent.

Across the U.S., the labor force rose by approximately 100,000, and has risen 1.4 million across the previous 12 months. Although the physical number of unemployed has also risen as more people have become available for work, the jobless percentage has dropped slightly, down 0.1 percent to 4.8, representing more than 7.6 million unemployed people who are able to work and yet remain without a job.