Roanoke Valley businesses seek new employees at job fair amid staffing shortage

Salem Civic Center hosted more than 65 businesses looking for new hires

SALEM, Va. – The Economic Development Authority for the City of Salem hosted a job fair Tuesday. More than 65 businesses and local industries were on hand.

“This has been great, and we’ve been talking with people from not just the Salem area, but from Roanoke, Fincastle and surrounding areas so it’s been wonderful,” said Catherine Medovich, SVH Services Business Specialist.

SVH Services is based in Roanoke and provides services to individuals with disabilities. It has many openings for hopeful hires. Salem-based Summit Helicopters was in attendance as well, looking for drivers. But with staff shortages across the country, the amount of people looking for jobs has gone down.

“It’s extremely difficult and it’s frustrating that there isn’t more people. It used to be fairly easy to find folks and now it’s just become a struggle. Every year gets a little harder and COVID certainly didn’t help that any,” said Rick Chase, Summit Helicopters Director of Maintenance.

During the pandemic, many workers left their jobs to pursue work-from-home roles, making advertising and recruitment efforts less fruitful.

“All of our ads that we advertise on, Indeed, have produced nothing in the last 6 months,” added Chase.

The people looking for jobs were extremely pleased with the big turnout of businesses.

“It’s really nice, the companies here, it’s unbelievable. A lot of opportunities,” said John Kennedy.

Kennedy is on the job hunt for the first time in ten years. He was the caretaker for his father after he passed away, and the job fair was a chance for a new beginning.

“Things change you know, and I have to get back into the workforce.”

A workforce that needs more workers. Something the job fair hopes to help.

About the Author

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.

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