By Valerie Baldowski
A total of 90 employers are scheduled to be at the annual 13th Congressional District Jobs Fair on Friday, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.
"The economy is picking up in many ways, except adding more jobs," said U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), who has been sponsoring the event for seven years. "Competition for open jobs is tough. Those constituents looking for work need as many hiring opportunities as possible, in order to improve their chances. The jobs fair gives them a chance to have face-time with an employer."
The jobs fair will be from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., at the convention center, which is located at 2000 Convention Center Concourse.
"We expect anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 job seekers," Scott said. "I am fully focused on jobs and the economy, and the south-Atlanta area is poised for an economic comeback. But it will require patience, persistence, and a positive attitude to join the next wave of people hired."
During Friday's job fair, booths will be set up to provide information on job opportunities in fields including administrative, food service, sales, management, customer service, technology, human resources, law enforcement, finance, health and green jobs.
Scott said services, such as resume counseling, also will be offered.
Henry County's unemployment rate is higher than the state's rate, according to figures from the Georgia Department of Labor. The county unemployment rate for February was 10.9 percent, compared to Georgia's latest reported unemployment rate of 10.6 percent.
"Job fairs are a very useful tool in helping the unemployed connect with potential employers," said Georgia Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond.
In addition to matching employers with job seekers, Thurmond said the events offer attendees opportunities to network with each other and gather information that could eventually turn into job leads.
"It's important not to see it as a 'boom or bust' occasion," he said.
Thurmond said job fairs give attendees an opportunity for "general reconnaissance," and allow them to "put out feelers and exchange business cards and resumes."
They can also be good for a job seeker's mental health, he continued.
"You become very isolated when you're unemployed," Thurmond said. "The intangible is, you realize you're not alone. It [a job fair] gives you a psychological boost, just to commiserate and talk to other people."