Last year, KRA/SCWorks*, Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted a Job Fair to benefit un- and under-employed community residents in the Waccamaw Region of South Carolina. According to Rusty Gaskins, KRA Business Services Representative (BSR), who served on the Planning Committee, “Our 2012 Job Fair partnership effort was so successful that we decided to co-host another, which we did on February 28th at the Myrtle Beach Mall. The Job Fair took about 9 months to plan, and for KRA was truly a team effort. In addition to soliciting employers and jobseekers to attend, Kenneth McIver and Jeff Ward [BSRs], and Pat Davis, Willie Matthews, and Joseph Watson [Career Agents] planned and presented onsite workshops on ‘Dressing for Success’ and ‘Interviewing’.”
Gaskins continued, “As a result of successful planning, recruitment, and collaboration, Job Fair statistics were very impressive! More than 30 Horry County employer-customers attended, with an average of 20 job openings each; 451 jobseeker-customers registered, filling out a total of 930 job applications, as some individuals applied for more than one position; 16 candidates were hired on-the-spot, and another 10 received referrals to attend invitation-only employer orientations. From prior experience, we know that many, many more applicants will be contacted for further screening and interviewing over the coming months. Partnering with community organizations, such as Goodwill and the North Myrtle Beach Chamber, provides KRA the benefit of helping both jobseekers and employers in a one-stop setting. Our jobseekers live in a three-county area, so having employers in one place helps them save on time and transportation costs, which is important to us. Also, the employers get to meet many more candidates in 1 day than they would in a typical office setting. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
*Funded by the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments, this Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program encompasses a tri-county area and provides comprehensive workforce services for Regional jobseeker-and employer-customers. Adhering to a sector-driven strategy that targets service businesses in high-growth industries, the three SCWorks Career Centers provide recruitment, screening, referral, follow-up, and retention services tailored to the needs of private- and public-sector employers in the Region. WIA services support Adult/Dislocated Workers in need of training and/or job placement opportunities through interest, aptitude, and personality assessment; skills upgrading through occupational training and OJTs; career coaching, counseling, and guidance; instructional job search technique workshops; job referral, placement and retention services; and referrals to community partnering agencies. WIA services support young jobseekers through the Youth Employability & Success (YES) component of the operation, which provides a comprehensive year-round program for disadvantaged In-School and Out-of-School Youth facing significant barriers to employment. YES workplace-readiness services include interest, math, and reading assessment; GED preparation; job application and interviewing skills; and intensive career counseling.