Aiken job fair draws seekers of SRS jobs

Job seeker Jamyla Goodwin, left, speaks with Talascend recruiting manager Shannon Boykin during an SRS job fair at Aiken Technical College.

There were 1,500 people in line before the job fair started.


In search of the 3,000 people needed for the federal stimulus work at Savannah River Site, a fourth job fair was held this afternoon at Aiken Technical College. A fifth job fair will be held in two weeks in Augusta at Paine College.

Standing in line for one of the placement agencies, Talascend, was 22-year-old Tony Suber, who was laid off in February. For five years, he worked for a contractor that supplied floor production labor to Bridgestone in Aiken.

“When the economy went south, they laid off almost all the contractor except for five people,” he said.

The job search hasn't good well since, Mr. Suber said, resumes in hand.

“I have to keep getting out there and looking. I don't like sitting around,” Mr. Suber said. “Anything they can give me, I can take it.”

There are still about 1,500 jobs open at SRS, said Roger Eshelman, executive vice president at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

“We're running resumes through 13 placement agencies. Not to discourage anybody, we currently have over 5,000 resumes over consideration. We're trying to place 100 people a week,” Mr. Eshelman said.

Mr. Eshelman said the number of people with stimulus work jobs should be above 2,000 by the end of the year, and close to 3,000 by beginning of spring 2010.

The jobs are temporary, however, disappearing after September 2011.

SRS got $1.6 billion to decommission two reactors and dispose of waste at the site.

“Work we planned to do, but just didn't have the resources to do it. Now we do,” said Jeff Allison, manager of the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River Operations office.

The “shovel ready” projects retained 798 SRS workers who were going to lose their jobs through a lack of funding, Mr. Eshelman said. More than 600 people have been hired so far for the additional temporary work.



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