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Virginia Career Works back to hosting monthly in-person job fairs in Roanoke

Twenty various businesses and industries will be at the next event Thursday, Oct. 14.
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:13 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Career Works in Roanoke is hosting a job fair next week and now is the time to prepare to make that great first impression.

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate fell .2% in August 2021 as the number of employed Virginians rose by more than 13-thousand.

However, the unemployment rate is still at 4% and there are dozens of companies right here in our hometowns looking to hire.

“It’s easier to get a job when you have a job,” Toni McLawhorn, the one-stop coordinator for Virginia Career Works - Blue Ridge, said.

She’s encouraging everyone to continue getting back into the workforce.

“You may not get the job you ideally want to have for life right now,” McLawhorn said. “But at least you’re working, you’re being productive, you’re keeping your skills up. You may be learning a new skill.”

Career Works is back to holding monthly in-person job fairs to help in that endeavor. At the next one Thursday, Oct. 14, 20 employers for a variety of industries will be looking to fill immediate openings.

“What I would encourage people to do is not judge a book by its cover, as I say,” McLawhorn said. “Don’t look at the name of the business and say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to work there’ or ‘they don’t have anything for me.’ Because you never know until you talk to them what different types of opportunities they might have.”

She added this week is the time to prepare and and Career Works is available daily to help people every step of the way.

“People are welcome to come in and get help on a resume,” she said. “We can put them through a mock interview if they would like to do that. We can certainly provide them a list of employers who are planning to come so that they can go to their website, research them, learn about what they do, what are they all about and see what positions they have posted on their websites.”

Preparation is key as many employers in the past have conducted interviews and handed out job offers on the spot.

“And you may find that there’s a field that you didn’t know that you were interested in that ends up being your lifetime position,” McLawhorn said.

Thursday’s job fair is from 1-4 p.m. at the Virginia Career Works office in Roanoke. Masks will be required for all attendees regardless of vaccination status. Next month, VCW plans to hold another job fair specifically for the restaurant and hospitality industry ahead of the holiday season.

List of businesses attending October job fair:

  • LewisGale Physicians
  • Roanoke City Public Schools
  • Grifols
  • Medeco/ASSA ABLOY
  • Rockydale Quarries Corporation
  • Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Virginia
  • Western VA Regional Jail
  • Richfield Living
  • UPS
  • Salem Montessori School
  • Our Lady of the Valley
  • Atlantic Constructors, Inc.
  • Homestead Creamery Inc
  • SWM
  • Roanoke Police Academy
  • FedEx Ground
  • Waffle House
  • TJMaxx
  • Belk
  • Freedom First Credit Union (tentative)

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