Business expo and job fair combo, great deal for Randolph county

Bob Chiarenzelli of ARI speaks with potential employees at job fair
Bob Chiarenzelli of ARI speaks with potential employees at job fair

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - In a county with a fairly high unemployment rate, Thursday's Business Expo and Job Fair at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas was just what the doctor ordered.

"We have totaled up approximately 150 jobs that are available," Kelly Aaron with the Department of Workforce Services told Region 8 News.

At least half of the 40 businesses on hand were accepting applications, something that should boost the economy in Randolph and surrounding counties.

"We are hiring all the time" Libby Allison with Above and Beyond Home Care said. "We've had a couple of people come by and bring us their resumes which is really good."

The crowd at the event was good not just for Randolph County businesses, but businesses from other counties that were there as well.

"We ultimately want the public, our applicants, to have the opportunity to work," Aaron explained.

Aaron told Region 8 News that Workforce Services realizes that some of Region 8's largest employers draw employment from different counties.

"We have employees that come from Corning, Walnut Ridge, Pocahontas, because we're not that far away," Senior HR Manager at American Railcar Industries, Bob Chiarenzelli said.

"We have about 40 positions available every month," Chiarenzelli said. "Any time that we can be hiring and bring folks in and give them an opportunity to improve their lives, it's marvelous."

It's a sentiment that was echoed by the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, as networking with the rest of Region 8 is something Governor Beebe recommended to Northeast Arkansas years ago.

"It's a good thing that we're all working together to at least accomplish our common, economic goal," Executive Director of the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Tim Scott said.

With the unemployment rate in Randolph County fluctuating anywhere between 8.9% and 10.2%, a combination of a business expo and job fair really got people interested.

"People started thinking 'at least I can apply'. Over half these booths inside here are taking applications," Scott told Region 8 News.

On top of the roughly 150 positions available from many of the local businesses, the Army and the Marines were also on hand accepting applications.

If you missed out on Thursday's event, Aaron said there will be a Business Expo in Lawrence County on May 7th.

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