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Regional job fair brings hundreds of jobs in second year

COVINGTON, Ga. – Hundreds of people from all over the state flocked to Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Newton Campus Friday for the opportunity to talk to more than 50 employers about the possibility of working in some of the region’s largest and most sought-after employers. 

Serra P. Hall, senior project manager for Covington/Newton County Economic Development, said the outpouring of support leading up to the job fair and the large turnout shows the impact regionalism partnerships can have. 

“We are overwhelmed with the support and participation of all the job seekers, vendors, volunteers and local economic development partners,” she said. “This event is a testament to incredible achievements by our business community and our educational institutions around the region. 

“With more than 60 vendors who represent a wide range of businesses, it’s certainly something to be proud of to say that you are from here, that you live here and now hopefully so many can say that they work here. The I-20 corridor is a strong force in Georgia’s economy and will only continue to thrive with the great partnerships and regionalism that was displayed today.”

U.S. Congressman Jody Hice said this year’s job fair sets an example of how communities can work together for their residents. 

“Building on last year’s success, I am blown away by the sheer number of people who participate and the way that our community comes together,” he said. “With hundreds of participants this year, my expectations have been surpassed yet again, and it is incredibly heartening to see so many people hired on the spot.

“I’m proud to see that Georgia is brimming with opportunity, and today’s event is just another example of the growth and prosperity sweeping our nation. I could not be more grateful to the economic development offices of Walton, Newton, Jasper, Morgan and Greene counties, as well as Georgia Piedmont Technical College for making today’s event not only possible, but a ringing success!”

Hall said the support of Hice shows his dedication to the constituents in his district. 

“The Office of Economic Development could not be more thankful and grateful for the leadership and support from Congressman Jody Hice,” she said. “His encouragement of the job fair for constituents all over his district and beyond has been inspirational. We are thankful to have a partner who is business and job minded.

“We are also incredibly thankful for partners, such as Georgia Piedmont Technical College, the Walton, Morgan, Jasper, Greene and Rockdale County economic development offices, who truly made this event happen; and lastly, but certainly not least, to our business community who gave their time and energy today to meet with a thousand-plus people and high school students, this certainly could not be possible without you.”

Hall said the work does not stop with the conclusion of this year’s job fair. Partners throughout the region promise to continue to work together to provide opportunities for its residents. 

“We are always encouraged by the great citizens of our region and will continue to strive to build a strong pipeline for our industries and other business partners to show that east of Atlanta is truly the best place to work and live,” she said.

Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Staffins said the job fair is where lives can change. 

“Today was incredible, he said. “Today is where the rubber meets the road. Today is actually about watching people get a new career, advance their families and change their circumstances. More than 1,000 people came and hundreds of jobs will be had because of today.”

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston called the job fair a “tremendous success.”

“Our community is so fortunate to have a large-scale job fair like this, but we are even more fortunate to have this number of jobs available,” he said. “The number of unemployed is decreasing every day and with that decrease we will see the number of those living in poverty decrease as well. The importance of today cannot be understated and I want to thank everyone who played a role in producing this event and all of those seeking employment who attended.”

Newton County Chairman said seeing the region come together is exciting.

“This job fair is great for all the citizens of Newton County and the local business owners and local industry,” he said. “It is great to see our local talent able to connect with local employers. I am excited to see so many people reach for these great opportunities. This is just part of what goes into making Newton County not only a wonderful place to live and do business in but also One Newton.”