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Hundreds attend Chamber job fair
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More than 700 residents turned out for a job fair Tuesday morning to apply for several dozen slots in local manufacturing plants.

Nine companies — five manufacturers and four staffing companies — set up tables to attract employees at a four-hour event at Georgia Piedmont Technical College Tuesday morning, a collaboration of the college, the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Labor. Representatives from the companies took applications and talked with prospective employees.

"One industry in particular called us and told us they had several positions and needed them filled quickly," said Shannon Davis, director of business retention and expansion for the Chamber of Commerce.

In all, 718 people came out Tuesday, Colleen Capes Jackson, administrative assistant to the vice president of Economic Development Programs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, said.

Jackqueline Smith, of Covington, said she had been out of work for five weeks. She has sent out applications recently, but left with a handful of leads Tuesday after hearing about the job fair through a friend.

"It’s been kind of tough," she said.

Roughly 800 people turned out for the last job fair at the college in April. Dawn Wolff, conference center manager at Georgia Piedmont, said the school wanted to host similar job fairs twice a year.

"We try to do it in the spring and fall," she said. "We’ve had really good turnout."

Outside the meeting area Tuesday morning, dozens of people lined waited in a line that snaked down the hallway and nearly out the door, college and Department of Labor officials said. Most of those who came arrived at or before the 8 a.m. starting time.

Among the tables were Amesbury Extruded Products, Apollo Staffing, Clarion Metals, Etcon Employment Solutions, Nisshinbo Automotive, Paramount Staffing, SGD Manufacturing, Solo Cup and Wagner Service Solutions.

Chamber President Hunter Hall told the Covington City Council on Oct. 3 that at least one of the industrial companies planned to hire 50 or 60 employees.