Hundreds of job-seekers turned out Tuesday in Lynchburg for a first of-its kind job fair hosted by the company Reliant Hiring Solutions.
The fair at the Heritage United Methodist Church saw a turnout of 26 companies and more than 325 job applicants. It's that enthusiasm that the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance says is the sign of something much bigger going on in the Hill City.
You can see through the continued construction downtown that Lynchburg is a growing city. That growth means more companies are hiring, something Kyle Sparrgrove took advantage of at Tuesday's job fair.
"Stable employment is my main focus. Something stable that will get me through the week, help me pay off my car, help me get through the medical bills I currently have," said Sparrgrove.
Like many in Lynchburg, Sparrgrove has a job, but it's not the one he wants long-term.
"I'm under-employed and being able to look into what possibilities I have to turn that under-employment into full employment, I was going to take the chance," said Sparrgrove.
In Lynchburg, those possibilities are growing.
Unemployment in the city has gone down steadily since the recession in 2008. It reached a high of almost nine percent in 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, it sits at a more comfortable 4.5.
Joan Adduci is a recruiter for Centra, which saw more applicants than anyone Tuesday.
"I think that there are a lot of people out there, first of all, that are looking for jobs. I've talked to quite a few people today who had jobs and were laid off," said Aducci.
But while certain jobs have disappeared, new ones continue to arrive. Just last week, the brewery Lickinghole Creek announced it was moving into the old Babcock's Auto Service building, bringing more than 50 jobs with it. The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance says, it's a sign that should inspire optimism.
"The fact that there is a huge resurgence in downtown Lynchburg and the fact that the micro-brewery and the brewery industry is booming is almost a triple-threat for us, it's just great, great news. So 50 jobs in the City? You better believe that we're going to take them," said Business Alliance COO Christine Kennedy.
You can find more resources for job-seekers online at the Virginia Employment Commission website by clicking here.
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