NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Most of the time job fairs are considered for the benefit of job seekers.
But when the Texas Workforce Commission reports the state's unemployment rate is as low as 3.4%, it's the employers wanting to be at job fairs.
"It's great. We're excited that so many people are at work,” said Manpower market manager Claire Robbins. “But at the same time for those companies that are looking for just that right person it makes it a little bit more difficult to find that needle in the haystack when you got a smaller number to look from."
Job seeker Brieanca McGowan came to the job fair with a pre-conceived notion.
"Around here it's not about what you know, it's about who you know."
She was pleasantly surprised to find as many as 25 Nacogdoches employers in attendance.
"I never realized how many employers were seeking employees,” said McGowan while looking around the gym at the C.L. Simon Recreation Center in Nacogdoches.
Employers can't rely on job fairs alone. Innovative methods are becoming more popular.
The newest employer in town is NacSpace. The IT service center, a branch of Elliott Electric, is hiring and training individuals with no IT experience.
"We've had people who were coaches at high schools or worked at restaurants,” said Madison Hitt, who conducts marketing for NacSpace. “And as long as they're willing to learn about IT, we taught a lot of people that aren't IT majors or do not have a background in IT as well."
In the end, the job fair sponsored by the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation hosted 200 job seekers. Many used the make-shift bleachers as desks to fill out applications. As many as 6 employers set up second interviews with potential hires. After today, the unemployment figures may drop even lower.
"It's a good thing they came out to show us that they're needing us as much as we're needing them,” said McGowan before heading to the next employer’s booth.
The latest job-related statistics, figures, and information can be found anytime at www.lmci.state.tx.us