OXFORD — The gray skies and swirling dust from the Sahara could not keep sports fans, joggers and walkers from enjoying Choccolocco Park on Saturday.
Elwood Staffing, a local employment agency that matches job seekers with employers, thought it would be a good idea to set up at the entrance of the park, next to the roundabout, to have a job fair and to bring awareness to the critical need for jobs to be filled in the area.
Elwood Staffing employees Kim Dunaway, business development management, and Lorena Amaral, Oxford branch manager, set up a gazebo and were giving out waters, pens and chapstick along with their pleas for able-bodied workers.
“We wanted to get Elwood’s name out in the community, people passing by, going to sporting events, we wanted them to see us and see what we have going on,” said Dunaway.
“We recruit, screen and hire employees for a lot of different companies in the area, generally most of the employees we assist stay on our payroll and we pay them anywhere from 3 months to 2 years depending on the client,” said Dunaway.
Dunaway wanted to dispel the myth that there are no jobs to be had in the area due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people are under the impression we don’t have a lot of jobs right now because of the COVID and that’s not the case, we have over a hundred positions available,” said Dunaway.
Before the pandemic when the unemployment rate was lower the company had a hard time filling job vacancies but even though the unemployment is higher the demand is still there for people to work according to Dunaway.
Amaral said that there are more jobs available now than the months before the pandemic began.
Dunaway said that Elwood Staffing is paid by the client companies, not the employees themselves.
Some of Elwood Staffing’s clients include Honda, New South Express, Fabarc Steel and New Flyer.
“We specialize in light industrial manufacturing and administrative positions ... we are in dire need for employees for manufacturing facilities in the area,” said Dunaway.
Dunaway said there had been a healthy interest with the Elwood Staffing gazebo that was set up.
“A lot of interest, primarily from people who see our signs and know someone who needs employment,” said Dunaway.
Dunaway said the starting pay for part-time workers, depending on experience, is $15.87 per hour and full-time workers can expect around $13.87 per hour.