James Brown Arena filled with SRS job seekers

Information on getting ready for the SRS job fair in Augusta.
Monday, July 20, 2009 6:49 AM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 12:21 AM
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Job seekers won't need an engineering degree to land some of the latest job openings at Savannah River Site.

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Potential job seekers at a U.S. Department of Energy job fair line up to meet with vendors.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Potential job seekers at a U.S. Department of Energy job fair line up to meet with vendors.

“We're finally getting to the point where we can hire local folks who don't necessarily have a lot of experience,” said Dennis Trout, president of Value Added Solutions Inc., one of 13 subcontractors hiring for the stimulus package funded jobs at SRS. “Now that we have more requisitions for folks that don't necessarily require the higher level degrees, we feel these job fairs are becoming more important for the local community. We get more folks that are qualified for the positions at the job fairs now than we did when they first started,” he said.

Aiken-based Value Added Solutions Inc. is hiring for about 1,000 professional and general employment positions, including waste remediation technicians, material handlers and maintenance mechanics, said CEO Brenda Mikkola.

It is one of the companies present at today's job fair at James Brown Arena, the fifth job fair for the temporary SRS jobs. The Augusta event started with more than 1,200 people in line and drew an estimated 3,000 people when it concluded.

The company is also hiring for operations specialists and office support personnel. The requirements for an operations specialist, for instance, are a high school degree, industrial work experience and possibly heavy equipment operation, Ms. Mikkola said.

In addition, SRS is also hiring for specialized positions such as engineering and IT jobs, she said.

“We're hiring continuously. We're hiring folks right now,” Mr. Trout said. “As a matter of fact, we're preparing at this job fair to make offers. That doesn't mean they'll be hired, but if we see candidates who meet our requirements, we're going to try to negotiate an offer with them on the spot here today.”

Value Added Solutions Inc. will then forward the candidate's resume to SRS for final evaluation, he said.

Career Personnel is hiring for clerical, administrative support and forklift positions, said assistant operations manager Kristin Bodkin.

Positions include general clerks, mail couriers, general laborers, forklift operators and maintenance mechanics. The company has 120 to 150 openings, she said.

“We anticipate more, but we don't know how many more. They start out as one year contracts and can be extended through the 30 months, which is September 2011,” Ms. Bodkin said.

Lajeanna Stevenson has been looking for a job since September.

The 29-year-old worked as a program manager at Georgia Psychological Services on Columbia Road before it closed due to state budget cuts, she said.

Ms. Stevenson has landed several interviews, but she has been told that she is overqualified, she said.

“It was very helpful. They thoroughly explained everything, and it was very well organized,” Ms. Stevenson said.

She found two positions that fit her qualifications and was instructed to look for additional job postings online, she said.

Prior to the fair, representatives of the Engery Deaprtment and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions held a one-hour town hall meeting to explain how it is spending $1.6 billion.

The fair had originally been planned for Paine College. But organizers say they changed it to a larger venue because of increased interest in the jobs.

More than 2,000 people have attended each fair, which have been held in Aiken, Allendale, S.C., Columbia, S.C., and Barnwell, S.C.

Comments (13) Add comment
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UPSETMANIA
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UPSETMANIA 07/20/09 - 07:14 am
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I really don't see what all

I really don't see what all the fuss is about for these SRS Job Fairs. I read in other articles that these jobs are only projected to last for 18 months. To me what's the point in even applying when you are going to be out of work again in 18 months. How about some long term jobs for these folks who are need of money.

donnachaidh
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donnachaidh 07/20/09 - 09:08 am
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How about appreciating any

How about appreciating any work you can get until the economy improves and if you are a good candidate and work hard, you may be permanent.

SCEagle Eye
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SCEagle Eye 07/20/09 - 01:27 pm
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Is this a job fair or just a

Is this a job fair or just a circus to show that there is some action around the stimulus spending?

triscuit
3084
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triscuit 07/20/09 - 02:13 pm
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SCEagleEye: your second

SCEagleEye: your second choice is the most accurate.

jusanote
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jusanote 07/20/09 - 02:22 pm
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In my opinion, a job that

In my opinion, a job that lasts for 18 months is better than no job at all. That is a paycheck that a person can count on for a year and a half! Also, there is nothing to prevent a person from continuing to search for other jobs in the meantime. Also if you do an outstanding job for a company for that long they will probably be looking to keep you on permanetly. There is NOTHING to be gained from sitting at home thinking of reasons NOT to work for 18 months.

robinhow
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robinhow 07/20/09 - 03:21 pm
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My daughter ( a recent

My daughter ( a recent college graduate) was turned away from the job circus ( fair) this morning because there were " too many people in the building" . And from what she told me they were allowed in the room in groups of 10 to go from booth to booth for 5 whole minutes. I know a lot of people are going to get hired that way!! ___NOT

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/20/09 - 04:54 pm
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Seems like if you were going

Seems like if you were going to apply for a job you would have dressed appropriately.

Does_it_really_matter
1
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Does_it_really_matter 07/20/09 - 05:14 pm
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The only way The James Brown

The only way The James Brown Arena can get filled....a job fair.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/20/09 - 05:27 pm
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The police should have been

The police should have been there conducting drug tests and criminal background checks.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 07/20/09 - 06:09 pm
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I imagine there was a lot of

I imagine there was a lot of dissppointment when they found out they would actually have to do some work to get paid.

robaroo
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robaroo 07/20/09 - 06:57 pm
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What is the ratio of job

What is the ratio of job seekers to actual jobs? Maybe ten people applying for every job? And it's the skilled positions that are harder to fill. For just plain labor, the ratio may be something like 20 applications for every job. Ouch! The employers will only hire the hardest working, best educated workers.

melzbelz
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melzbelz 07/20/09 - 10:27 pm
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I agree with HillGuy. If you

I agree with HillGuy. If you want someone to give you a job, dress appropriately.

jahree2
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jahree2 07/20/09 - 11:50 pm
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robaroo...i agree. This is

robaroo...i agree. This is the 3rd job fair within the last month. The first job fair 1,300 attendees; second fair 2,000 attendees; and today 3,000. I continue to hear 3,000 jobs to fill...still???

Hillguy...We wouldnt want the ALCU getting involved. However, in Michigan and Florida there are staffing agencies that drug test as part of the interview. And yes, it weeds out a lot of people. LOL!

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