April 1, 2009
MAYHEW -- Signs of the economic crisis are everywhere. Earlier this month, 800 people in Ohio applied for one job opening with a local school district. Cable news shows are running non-stop features about displaced workers as the national unemployment rate exceeds 8 percent. A widely released television commercial meant to reassure investors features budget tips -- including one from a frequent business traveler who saves tiny bottles of hotel shampoo and comments, "I haven''t bought that stuff in years."
In Mississippi, 11 job fairs (and counting) are scheduled between March and October. Locally, one is Thursday at East Mississippi Community College -- the Northeast Mississippi Job Fair, part of the Governor''s Job Fair Network.
Now an established annual event, the NMJF is open to students from EMCC, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi State University and other colleges from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The public is welcome from noon until 2:30 p.m. The fair will be at the Lyceum auditorium on EMCC''s Golden Triangle campus.
Linda Gates, EMCC''s district director of Job Placement and Work-based Learning, is one of the organizers of the event. Given the state of the economy, Gates said, this year''s job fair will offer a special feature for attendees -- an emphasis on preparedness.
"Many of the area''s best employers will be at the Northeast Mississippi Job Fair, just as they always are, and the fair is a great place to meet those employers and apply for openings with their companies," Gates said.
"It''s also true that the economy is sluggish right now and jobs can be hard to find. But some economic indicators are beginning to show bright spots and real signs that the job market should be looking better in the next few months. And when that happens, you need to be ready to move fast. ... This year''s fair can help you do that."
At this year''s NMJF, attendees can have their resume evaluated by professionals and EMCC staff and counselors will conduct mock job interviews to better prepare job candidates.
The EMCC chapter of the National Technical Honor Society will be talking with attendees about making clothing choices that present a professional image.
Members of EMCC''s Business and Marketing Management program will be selling a CD they compiled called the "Job Search Resource Guide" for $5.