On Tuesday, hundreds of cars lined up at the former Vicksburg Outlets for a drive-thru, walk-up job fair featuring businesses from Warren County and beyond.
The event was sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, WIN Job Center, Governor’s Job Fair Network of Mississippi, Vicksburg Commons Shopping Center, The Radio People and Vicksburg-Warren Partnership. Booths lined the entire length of the outlet center building and more than 35 businesses and organizations participated, all of which were actively seeking new employees.
“I am so proud of how the community turned out for this job fair,” said Don Brown, of Warren Yazoo Behavioral Health and Mississippi State Personnel Board chairman. “We had a great committee. It was a huge success.”
According to Brown, this year’s job fair was one of the most successful in terms of community participation. The reason, he said, was the committee’s decision to allow attendees to drive-thru or walk-up, instead of one approach or the other.
“We had the first job fair that was a drive-thru and walk-up,” he said. “It was so good that I thought we might have it this way next year, even if it is okay to go inside.”
Employers in attendance included Vicksburg Forest Products, Bally’s Casino, Waterview Casino, Unified Brands, Warren Yazoo Behavioral Health, the Vicksburg Police Department, the city of Vicksburg, Nissan and even the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department.
According to VPD Investigator Nicholas Carson, the job fair was a way for the department to become involved in the community and promote current employment opportunities.
“We just wanted to reach out to the community and let them know we are here,” Carson said. “We want to have a strong presence and let the community know we’re working hard to get Vicksburg back to how it used to be — a safe place for your kids and your grandma.”
For Jessica Delk, of Warren Yazoo Behavioral Health, the event was an opportunity to make contact with individuals who might be interested in filling one of the four open positions currently available.
“We think it’s very important to have job opportunities available to the Vicksburg community,” Delk said. “We are so impressed by the turnout.”
Lt. Robert Lincoln, of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department in the southern part of the state, said Vicksburg’s job fair was the most successful one he’s attended as part of the Governor’s Job Fair Network of Mississippi.
For him, it was worth the drive.
“I’ve gone to every job fair they’ve had, from Southaven to Natchez to Ackerman, and next week, we’re back in Biloxi,” Lincoln said. “I am shocked at today’s turnout. The number of people is amazing. We’re proud to be out here and part of this event.”
Statistics for the number of job offers made and the number of new hires as a result of the job fair will be available next week, Brown said.