Originally Published in The Weirton Daily Times
July 9, 2019
WEIRTON – What started out as an effort to assist employees from the Koppers plant in Follansbee has grown into a job fair geared toward residents across the region.
Set for 9 a.m. to noon, July 20 at Vito’s 2, located at 570 Main St., Follansbee, approximately 10 local employers are expected to be on hand.
The job fair is being organized by JSW USA and the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Brooke County Commission and the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. It originally was proposed by JSW officials as a way to assist employers from the local Koppers plant after the company announced it would be shutting down by the end of August.
Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring copies of their resume and be prepared to meet with representatives of several area employers.
“It will give that one-on-one contact,” Follansbee Chamber President Debbie Puskarich said of the job fair. “Come with several copies of your resume. There are a lot of industries that will be there.”
In addition to JSW, employers currently set to participate are Jupiter Aluminum, Mondi Bags, Eagle Manufacturing, Wheeling-Nisshin, Mountain State Carbon, Pietro Fiorentini, Frontier Group of Companies, L&M Logistics, Southwestern Energy and Brooke County Schools.
“They are in dire need of bus drivers,” Puskarich said, explaining school officials had approached the chamber about participating.
Another new component will be a resume assistance workshop, to be held July 18 at West Virginia Northern Community College’s Weirton campus, with sessions available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition to WVNCC, partners in the workshop include West Liberty University and West Virginia University.
The idea, according to BDC Executive Director Pat Ford, came from the office of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who also helped make arrangements with the colleges and universities.
“Sen. Manchin’s office has really stepped up to help,” Ford, said.
In a submitted statement, Manchin said he was eager to assist in connecting local residents with potential employers.
“I greatly appreciate all organizations involved, especially the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce and the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, for their contributions to the event and dedication to the continued development of our state’s economy and workforce,” Manchin stated.
Additional assistance can be provided by the Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board, which Brooke Commissioner A.J. Thomas said will be available for the workshop.
“They can actually print out and have your resume ready for you,” Thomas said, pointing out the WIB also has opportunities to reimburse a percentage of qualifying employee salaries for up to six months through its grant programs.
For more information on the job fair, contact Puskarich at (304) 527-3657.