Rolls Royce in Prince George County was one of nearly 50 vendors attending the job fair sponsored by Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA-4th). They were advertising five job openings, machinist and mechanical engineer positions, and by mid-morning over 30 unemployed or underemployed folks had stopped by their table to inquire about the positions.
There was a substantial line that gather before the doors opened Thursday morning at Carver Middle School, where the event was held. By the end of the day, with over 400 attending the job fair, many seemed to be underemployed and looking for a career.
Courtney Kemp graduated in 2011 with a degree in Hospitality. She along with several others were in search of a career. “I had an internship last summer but have been working temp jobs since then. Right now I have two part-time jobs,” she said.
Stephanie Baccus, Employment Service Coordinator with CapUp, a resource vendor, found many, mostly older individuals, needed help with their cover letters and resume. She was collecting names and contact information to set appointments to help them be better prepared for the job market. CapUp is a non-profit community action agency offering employment readiness workshops as well as emergency services. “The job market is terrible today,” she said. “College graduates can’t get a job because they have no experience. We need to have industry create more jobs with entry-level positions. And the older folks re-entering the job market, I am seeing they need a lot of help with their cover letters and resume.”
Cassandra Jeffrees stopped by the Rolls Royce vendor where her sister works. Graduating in 2008 with a Sociology degree, she has been working in convenient stores. She also said everyone wants experience, “How can you get experience if no one gives you a chance,” she said. “I need a career.”