Photo: An applicant chats with representatives of Gold Strike Casino during the Mid-South Area Job Fair in Southaven on Tuesday, Aug. 29. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Mississippi officials have exclaimed the last several months about record low unemployment rates in the state. Earlier this month, the Gov. Tate Reeves announced the state jobless rate had fallen to three percent, setting another record.
While the unemployment rate has fallen, people are still looking for jobs, and hundreds entered the Landers Center in Southaven on Tuesday, Aug. 29 for a Mid-South Area Job Fair, put on by the Governor’s Job Fair Network of Mississippi.
Job Fair Network Director Adam Todd, in Southaven Tuesday, said he was impressed by the early response that had over 200 jobseekers come in the first couple of hours.
“It kind of reminds me of the events that we would have pre-COVID with some of the numbers we are seeing this morning,” Todd said. “When you have that many people looking for work and that many organizations looking to make hires, you know good things are going to happen as a result of today.”
Those who came to Tuesday’s job fair were encouraged to come properly dressed and bring plenty of resumes, as interviews and job offers could occur there at the event. Todd expected many who came may be already employed but came looking for an improved situation.
“Some of them could be unemployed and looking for work for various reasons or another,” Todd remarked. “But I think we also see a lot of individuals that are walking in trying to better themselves and their families’ future. You may have a job but this is also an opportunity to use this as a barometer for what is really happening within your local economy.”
Among those on hand Tuesday were young jobseekers, some coming to the job fair by school bus.
Todd welcomed the young people to be a part of the job fair, saying it’s important they realize there are more ways to a successful future than a four-year college degree.
“We need young people to understand that there is a four-year college degree track, but there are also accreditations and certifications that you can achieve that you would be making as much money, if not more, than someone with a four-year degree. This can really help open eyes to a younger generation what there really is around them and how they can maneuver themselves to obtain those types of jobs.”
Todd added a four-year degree is not for everybody, “so why not show those individuals the routes that can be taken and the steps you can take to get there.”
Tuesday’s job fair was held with cooperation from the Mississippi Department of Employment Services, the WIN Job Center, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, the DeSoto County Economic Development Council, and the Southaven Chamber of Commerce.