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Job fair may attract 1,500
Great Dane, Ga. Dept. of Labor holding event Wednesday at OTC
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More than 1,500 people are expected to visit Ogeechee Technical College Wednesday with a common goal in mind: finding employment.
The school will be the site of an all-day job fair it is holding in partnership with Great Dane Trailers, the Georgia Department of Labor and Georgia Quickstart.
Great Dane, whose 450,000 square-foot facility at Statesboro Gateway Industrial Park is nearing completion, has begun recruitment efforts for the new manufacturing plant and will use the fair to find qualified applicants for a host of positions.
The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m.
“We anticipate upwards of 1,500 job seekers from around the region to participate,” said Pat Boatright, acting manager of the Statesboro Career Center (Ga. Department of Labor). “The company will be filling 400 jobs over a period of time, which means this is one of the biggest recruitment events taking place in the state.”
Great Dane Trailers manufactures dry van, refrigerated and platform trailers. In its first phase, the Statesboro plant will have the capacity to produce more than 5,000 trailers annually. It is  production in April 2012.
According to a release issued by Great Dane, the company will seek workers to fill a variety of positions in six different job classifications — including factory-level and management jobs.
“They will be recruiting in a lot of different categories,” said Jan Melcher, director at Georgia Quickstart. “I would encourage anyone who has an interest in working for Great Dane to come out on that day because there are going to be a lot of job opportunities.”
Quick Start develops programs that provide free customized workforce training to qualified new, expanding and existing businesses in the state. For the Statesboro plant, Quick Start will offer job-specific training on the high-tech processes and equipment in each production area.
Applicants will receive a clearer definition on what kinds of work the company is offering and the type of employee they look for at the fair, Boatright said.
“Representatives from Great Dane will provide an overview of the company in large group settings to everyone attending the job fair,” she said. “Then, job seekers will complete a company application at the event.”
Presentations will be given in the school’s auditorium, said Barry Turner, vice president for Community and College Relations at OTC.
“The main lobby in the Kennedy Building will have furniture removed and rows of folding chairs moved in,” he said. “We will have groups, one at a time, go into the auditorium for the presentation. Individuals will move as smaller groups into classrooms to fill out applications.”
Anyone not attending the fair can complete a company application at the Georgia Department of Labor after Wednesday.
Job seekers that do attend the event will need to be bring proper identification and employment information, Boatright said.
“Job seekers need to be prepared to complete a company application with information about themselves, their qualifications, names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates of employment of previous employers,” she said. “Those applying for salaried positions need to have a resume to attach to the application.”
Following Wednesday’s fair, the Department of Labor and Great Dane representatives will screen individuals’ merits — through interviews and reviews of applications/resumes — and select workers to participate in training and undergo skill assessments with Georgia Quickstart.
“We will provide training and assessments to determine what job categories applicants are best fit for,” Melcher said. “Then the company will decide who they want to hire.”
According to a release issued by OTC, Quickstart is “developing job-specific training on the high-tech processes and equipment in each production area, including safety, precision measurement, fabrication, robotics, and extensive assembly and welding operations.”
Training will continue at OTC and an on-site facility even after individuals begin working, Melcher said.
For additional information about recruitment, people can contact the Statesboro Career Center at (912) 681-5156.

Jeff Harrison can be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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