October 27, 2016

W.Va. needs jobs; job fair set Friday at Erma Byrd Higher Education Center | The Register-Herald

In Washington, I constantly hear talk of an economic recovery. However, you can ask any West Virginian, “What do we need more of in our state,” and they will tell you jobs, jobs and more jobs. Through the recession and the war on coal, we have lost far too many jobs in our mines, but we have also lost many indirect jobs in our industries serving our mines and miners. There is absolutely no doubt that our state has been hit hard. Add that to the fact that in this ever changing technologically friendly world, the human element is often removed from today’s job search – often just adding another hurdle for folks getting back into the workforce. Put simply, it is harder to make a direct connection and a great first impression when you have to apply online.

Well, I want to help bring back that important face-to-face interaction and that is why I am pleased to announce that I am co-hosting my 14th Job and Resource Fair tomorrow, Oct. 28, in Beckley at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center.

We have all hands on deck for this major outreach event. Our partners include WorkForce West Virginia and Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, as well as the West Virginia National Guard, Bluefield State College, Marshall University and the New River Community and Technical College. More than 120 private sector and government employers, and resources to help develop career skills will be present, all looking to harness the talent of our dedicated Mountain State workers. 

This job fair is open to individuals looking for a job or who want to develop their career skills. There will be three free seminars offered during the day including: How to market yourself with an RBA degree, How to create an online presence with LinkedIn and How to develop interviewing skills. 

If you have never had to interview for a job before or have been out of the workforce for a while, this is a perfect event for you because we will help bring you up to speed on how the job market has changed, inform you on what employers are looking for and show you what types of jobs are available in this region.

I look at myself as a facilitator so connecting individuals with jobs is one of my top priorities as your U.S. Senator. About a year ago, I announced this series of job fairs across West Virginia to link West Virginians with available job opportunities and skills to help get them back to work, or to make them more competitive in the job market. Since then, we have helped employ hundreds of job seekers and helped West Virginians develop skills that make them more competitive in today’s job market.

West Virginians are resilient and, when given the opportunity, there is no challenge our state’s citizens cannot meet. The government alone cannot create jobs, but it can create a fertile environment that fosters economic growth. This is why we must fight to ensure that everyone who wants a job, has a job. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue, but an American issue that will only be solved by working together. To this end, I am working with my colleagues on both side of the aisle to ensure that our state feels this economic recovery we hear so much about.

So if you or anyone in your family is looking for a job, the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beckley is the place to be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.

As your U.S. Senator, I will continue to focus on supporting West Virginia’s continued economic development, and this fair will serve as an invaluable opportunity to connect our hardworking citizens with employers. The better we build these bridges and foster these connections, the more positive the economic outlook of southern West Virginia will be for decades to come. Together, we will build a positive economic outlook for our state that gives all West Virginians the futures they deserve.