FOLLANSBEE — Spurred by the announced closure of the Mountain State Carbon plant, four local organizations have teamed up to inform former plant employees and others of the positions currently available in the manufacturing industry.
The Follansbee and Weirton Chambers of Commerce, Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle and West Virginia Northern Community College are hosting a job fair from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on March 24 at the Follansbee Community House.
Eric Fithyan, President of the Follansbee Chamber of Commerce, said: “The important and unique role of the chamber is our relationships, which allows us to bring businesses to employees and, more importantly, to our community.”
He and Brenda Mull, president of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, said the recent news of the Follansbee plant closing was a primary motivator, but the job fair is open to everyone.
About a month ago, officials from Cleveland-Cliffs, the plant’s owner, announced its planned closure and although they said jobs at other Cleveland-Cliffs facilities would be offered to 288 people working there would mean moving to another region.
Fithyan said an effort has been made to attract employers from the event over a relatively short distance, while the focus will be on jobs in the manufacturing industry.
BDC Deputy Director Jacob Keeney said: “Despite the recent closure announcement, BDC is seeing an increase in major commercial exploration activity and existing expansion in Brooke and Hancock counties over the past year.”
“These potential, incoming and expanding businesses all need the highly skilled workers we are hosting this event for,” he said.
“There are certainly a lot of job openings for people,” Mull said.
Currently, representatives from Wheeling-Nippon Steel, Maple Manufacturing, Marsh Bellofram, Jupiter Aluminum Corp., AMG Vanadium, Lauttamus Communications, Lombardi Development Co., JLB Construction, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, Maxwell Welding and Machine, JSW Steel are scheduled to appear . , Gator Transportation and Energy Services, Fanti USA and Trinity Health System.
On Friday, the organizers continued to accept reservations from others.
Job seekers are encouraged to bring several resumes and come prepared for a short interview. Assistance in creating a CV will be offered to you.
Representatives from WVNCC, Eastern Gateway Community College and Billy Rig Oil CDL Inc. will also be on hand to share information about education and training programs available through them, while West Virginia Navigator – First Choice Services will answer questions about transitional health care assistance services.
Fithyan noted that at least 1,000 people turned out for a job fair spurred by the closure of the Follansbee Koppers plant a few years ago and he and others involved are hoping for a strong turnout.
Mull said each of the four sponsors worked to promote the job fair.
“Many of us are working together to make this event a positive one,” she says.
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