Martinsville, VA - Martinsville regularly has the highest unemployment rate in Virginia, but some say those numbers may soon get better.The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce says the job fair they hosted a couple of weeks ago was a great success.
In just a few hours at the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce job fair, Drake Extrusion Incorporated CEO John Parkinson grew his business. "We had a great job fair last year and this was even better than the previous years," said Parkinson.
The lines of people turned into crowds of hopeful employees.
"Our stand was just filled with people from the moment we got in there," said Parkinson.
Parkinson looked for 16 qualified people with a few years in manufacturing on their resume.
"We made a couple of offers on the day of the job fair," said Parkinson.
Then, extended a job offer to nearly a dozen others.
"These people are very excited to be here. You can tell in their voice when you make a call to ask for an interview," said Mark Brummitt, Plant Manager at Drake Extrusion Inc.
So far, so good for Parkinson's company.
"It's going to be absolutely paramount for us to be able to have these people available for when our busy season starts," said Parkinson.
And these jobs help the local economy too. Chamber Deputy Director Sharon Shepherd doesn't have exact numbers yet of how many jobs were offered -- but from the turnout, she says...
"It was definitely the biggest that we've had both in the number of jobs that were available, the employers that were there and also the job seeker," said Shepherd.
Shepherd says employers found qualified people from the applicant pool. And Parkinson agrees.
"We needed the people in the plant and we needed to start the training and they were happy to accept the offer," said Parkinson.
The Chamber says they plan to have another job fair again next year. And Parkinson hopes to be at it.