Roanoke named one of top southern cities to find a job

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Jobs are becoming easier to find in the Roanoke Valley.

The job recruitment website www.ziprecruiter.com ranked the Star City 7th on its list of top southern cities to find a job right now, ahead of larger cities like Orlando, FL.

Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL ranked number one.

"We see the jobs out there," said Roanoke City Economic Development Director Wayne Bowers. "We talk to the businesses and we know that a lot of businesses here in the Roanoke region are hiring and looking for talent."

Several factors went into the ranking, including hiring demand and industry growth. The top five industries in-demand positions locally include trucking, healthcare, construction, manufacturing and administrative/secretarial.

Jason Daniels is hoping to graduate from CDS Tractor Trailer Training with his CDL license on Tuesday. He made the move after getting laid off in the fall.

"I wanted a new career path so I decided to come out here, get my CDL, get on the road and maybe make some money," he said.

Daniels is part of a growing class of drivers getting on the road. Most drivers who graduate leave with a job offer.

"In the month of March we graduated over 40 students," said student coordinator Ray Bare. "That was a record setting month for us. I think we might be on pace to break it here in April as well. It just continues to get better."

It's good news for a region that had a rough start to 2015.

In January, Norfolk Southern announced it will close its Roanoke headquarters in July, impacting 500 jobs. One month later, the U.S. Postal Service said it will close its Roanoke distribution center, laying off 200 employees.

Bowers said Roanoke's diverse economy makes it easier to rebound from these types of losses.

He added that the Zip Recruiter ranking makes the Star City more attractive to businesses looking for a new home.

"When they see our name on that list with Dallas, Tampa, Jacksonville, it puts in a league that strengthens our position and makes us more attractive," Bowers said.

Danville also made the list, ranking 17th.

Much like Roanoke, its top five industries are transportation, accounting, healthcare, manufacturing and insurance.

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