Employers, potential workers drawn to Parkersburg News and Sentinel Job Fair

Photo by Evan Bevins Vienna resident David Page, left, sets up an appointment for a job interview at the North Central Regional Jail on Friday during the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Job Fair at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna. Also pictured are Beverly Rollins, acting human resources manager for the jail, and Cpl. Justin Taylor, with the Parkersburg Correctional Center.

PARKERSBURG — Nearly 200 people and 22 employers converged Friday at the Grand Pointe Conference Center for a job fair sponsored by the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

At events like the job fair, “we get in front of people that we don’t normally get in front of,” said Bill Murin, community relations coordinator for Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Memory Gardens.

One of the individuals Murin spoke with Friday afternoon was Parkersburg resident Sarah Stanley. Stanley said she found a couple of interesting prospects that fit the characteristics she was seeking.

“I’m trying to find a full-time job where I can still be home at night with my kid,” she said. “I have a business degree, so (I’m) trying to put that to use.”

Parkersburg resident Robert Ferrell said he’s been looking for work since November.

Photo by Evan Bevins Parkersburg resident Robert Ferrell fills out a job application Friday during the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Job Fair at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

“I’d like to have something I already know how to do, but I’m not picky,” he said as he filled out an application.

Vienna resident David Page said he’s had a variety of jobs in his life and was looking for something to carry him through to retirement. He said he’s been unemployed for three months after coming out of a substance abuse recovery center.

“And now I’m ready to sit there and try to get back into the workforce and make it easy on my family until I can retire,” Page said.

Lacey Richards, job fair coordinator for the News and Sentinel, said there was a steady stream of prospective employees throughout the three-hour event. Employers told her they were impressed with “the quality of people that showed up today,” she said.

“Lots of companies did on-the-spot interviews,” Richards said.

Photo by Evan Bevins Wood County Sheriff’s Sgt. D.D. Matheny, left, speaks with Sandyville resident Tammy Smart about applying to the sheriff’s department during the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Job Fair at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

Simonton Windows was looking to hire for product operator positions at its three Ritchie County production facilities.

“We’ve had people that were interested in the positions, both full-time and part-time,” said Shelia Bowie, human resources manager for Simonton.

Bowie said it can be a challenge finding people who want to work in light manufacturing at the company’s rural locations, but noted a recent partnership with the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority to provide bus service to employees.

“It helps people because we are located 35 miles east of Wood County,” she said.

Geography can also be an obstacle for the North Central Regional Jail, which has openings for corrections officers, clerks and building maintenance positions, said Beverly Rollins, acting human resources manager for the facility.

Photo by Evan Bevins Parkersburg resident Sarah Stanley, left, speaks with Bill Murin, community relations coordinator for Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Memory Gardens, Friday during a job fair sponsored by the Parkersburg News and Sentinel at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

“In Doddridge County, we have a lot of competition with the oil and gas (industry),” she said. “Plus, we’re so far from everything.”

Rollins said she’d made appointments for interviews with multiple candidates she met at Friday’s job fair.

Another News and Sentinel job fair is planned for September, while sister publication The Marietta Times will sponsor one at Grand Pointe on May 17.

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