COVINGTON, GA — With the Georgia Department of Labor’s recent announcement of the state’s unemployment rate at 9.7% for the month of May, employers and jobseekers alike are finding more creative ways to connect their employment needs during the current COVID-19 health crisis.
Local community partners in Newton and Walton counties believe they can help through the first-ever virtual job fair organized by Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) and set for July 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Despite the COVID-19 environment, many employers in the region are actively hiring right now,” said Irvin Clark, GPTC’s vice president for economic development. “Recognizing this circumstance and our need to think beyond the on-the-ground model of how a job fair is organized, we developed a virtual platform that will allow both jobseekers and employers to come together in an environment that replicates the traditional job fair model, only virtually.”
More than 40 employers from throughout the region in the fields of manufacturing, film, entertainment, public safety, local government, bio-pharma, high-technology and distribution will be available to discuss their current employment opportunities at the 2020 Regional+Virtual Job Fair.
“Our region is growing and continuing an outstanding pace of available jobs for our citizens. The upcoming virtual job fair will highlight the businesses and industries that make our community unique,” said Serra P. Hall, vice president of project development at the Newton County Industrial Development Authority. “The regional partnership of Georgia Piedmont Tech, the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce, Walton County and Newton County is powerful — the I-20 corridor is the next wave of high technology manufacturing with an innovative spark.”
Using a virtual platform during the job fair, employers will have their own exclusive online chat rooms allowing for real-time engagement in groups and personalized one-to-one interactions with job candidates.
Participation in the virtual fair is offered at no charge for employers and jobseekers.
Job candidates can also choose from several virtual continuing education sessions that are designed to enhance employment acquisition skills. Some of the topics to be covered include how to update a resume, interviewing skills in a virtual environment and the art of follow-up after an interview.
Dave Bernd, vice president of economic development at the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, encouraged jobseeker participation.
“With 1,400 Newton County residents going back to work in May, our incredibly resilient industry base is hiring,” he said. “This is your opportunity to find a new career. Come be part of ‘The Great Recovery!’”
In addition, faculty and staff from Georgia Piedmont Tech will be on hand during the virtual job fair to share information about academic programs that prepare students for high-demand career fields, financial aid options and other student support services.
“We are excited about being able to have a job fair during these unprecedented times and to be able to not only help the citizens in our community but also our business community,” said Debbie Harper, president of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce. “We’re fortunate to have some great partnerships to make this all possible. A big thank you to GPTC for taking the lead. They are a great asset to the community and region.”
All employers and job candidates must register for the 2020 Regional+Virtual Job Fair in advance at careereco.com/events/GeorgiaPiedmont.
For more information, contact GPTC Business and Industry Coordinator Kelly Pollard at 404-297-9522, ext. 1230, or email GoMetroCorporateCollege@gptc.edu.