Second Job Fair scheduled Tuesday

Friday, May 14, 2010

Federal economic stimulus money is available for 62 jobs through September, so a second government-funded Job Fair will be held in Lewisburg.

Applicants who've already signed up should go to the Columbia State Community College, 980 S. Ellington Parkway, on Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Marshall County's unemployment rate is the second highest in the state now, but when it was the highest for three months in a row, Gov. Phil Bredesen allocated $3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to boost employment and the county's economy.

The money is paying hourly wages averaging $9.61, plus benefits, to 144 people who were hired as a result of the Job Fair on April 20 at Lewisburg's Recreation Center. Private business employers, cities and Marshall County hired those people from a pool of more than 400 applicants screened that day.

Jan McKeel, executive director of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, which is administering this federally-funded program, provided those details and more to the Lewisburg City Council on Tuesday night.

With 144 people working in business and government jobs that started about a week after the Job Fair, approximately $33,000 has been injected into the Marshall County economy, McKeel said.

That economic impact felt here in about two weeks will be increased with 62 more jobs, according to the plan funded by the federal economic stimulus program, also known as ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Since the April 20 Job Fair, the cost of those 144 jobs has been recalculated, compared to the $3 million allocated and, given the average wage rate and the money left, Workforce Alliance officials estimate there's money to pay wages and benefits for 62 more applicants through September.

The idea is to help employers hire unemployed people who have children age 17 and younger at home. Having a child at home is a requirement because the funding is channeled through the Families First program in the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

"To participate (in this second job fair) you must have already been declared eligible for the program and have not received a job," Workforce Alliance spokeswoman Paige Liggett said this week.

"Be prepared for on-the-spot interviewing, so dress to impress," Liggett said.

Employers and their representatives will be present to speak with applicants participating in the Marshall County Recovery Program.

"Your neighbors have already gotten jobs through this program and there are now more jobs available," Liggett said.

McKeel said 101 of the 144 jobs filled last month are in Lewisburg with: nine in Cornersville, four in Chapel Hill; and 30 with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. TDOT has sought to fill a total of 50 jobs that could include work well beyond the Marshall County line.

For more information call 931-359-9726

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Any inquiries and/or complaints should be directed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, No. 8 Public Square, 2nd Floor, Columbia. Funding is provided under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.