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Job fair looks to fill construction vacancies

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*(WTOC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Construction and road work seems to be constant in the Coastal Empire, but employers say they need workers to help complete the job.

They like many other industries are looking to fill position and put people to work.

Job fairs, like the Georgia Highway Contractors Association one, are becoming more and more important as there’s a big push for infrastructure, but a shortage of workers.

“We have seven different locations in the State of Georgia and three in South Carolina and it’s very difficult when you’re trying to recruit and no one is looking for a job,” Peek Pavement HR Director Craig Smith said.

Officer managers and HR directors say the biggest challenges right now are unemployment payments and COVID. They have dozens of jobs open, like prince contracting who is working on the I-16 and I-95 interchange and Island Expressway bridge.

“Currently in Savannah probably close to between 70 to 100 positions and that goes anywhere from the laborer to equipment operators as well as into field engineers, superintendents, foreman and the like,” Prince Contracting Office Manager Leah Fort said.

Kortavia Cooper came from Glenville in search of a career. She quickly learned how in demand workers like her are.

“It’s hard to choose because a lot of things that’s being said some with better benefits, better pay, traveling that I like doing some don’t travel, some of them are pretty local. So, the ones I’ve really been looking and have been interested in is the traveling one’s,” said Kortavia Cooper, from Glennville.

Across the room was Malik Price who has a maintenance job now but was exploring his options during this competitive time.

“There were some that just desperately just they want me now like come work for us now,” Price said.

He says construction is a new field, but it’s their training programs that are appealing making way for upward mobility.

“The ability for someone to work with me and teach me. I mean that’s just the goal. I mean because in my field the more you know the more you learn the more you can do the more you get paid,” Price said.

While companies seek employees they’re hopeful changes to Georgia and South Carolina’s unemployment requirements will bring back workers.

“We are very, very hopeful that that will drive people to our website to apply for positions,” Smith said.

“It’s going to take some analysis and some e time to really see how it goes. I hope so. I hope it encourages people to really want to get out there and start you know working I know it’s a very fulfilling industry,” Fort said.

Job fairs like this while competitive do help close the deal, Kortavia left filling out applications and excited about her next step.

“All these jobs I know for a fact that one of them is going to be for me, one of them I’m going to be working for eventually,” Cooper said.

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