Job Fair Attracts Thousands In Biloxi

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Ocean Springs resident Sweeney Grantham works at a fast food restaurant, but was one of hundreds of people seeking new career opportunities at Tuesday's Military and Civilian Job Fair at the Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

Grantham is focused on the big picture - creating a better life for his young daughter. Organizers say the fair is the place for anyone who's looking for a new career or better job.

"We have 130 outstanding employers from the Gulf Coast from different parts of our state and even out of state, that are here to fill their employment needs," said Joe Buckner, Director of the Governor's Job Fair Network.

The Army recruitment booth was one of the busiest.

"It's been great. We've had over 200 people stop by our booth today. We were able to make about six or seven appointments, people who are going to come in and talk to us this week," said Army recruiter Sgt. Ylonda Banister.

"Last year, we had 1,600 applicants. We've already had over 1,600 to come through this morning. And last year, we had 590 job offers. We're expecting the same kind of results in terms of the number of people who actually get job offers," Buckner said.

Buckner says despite gloomy economic reports nationwide, this job fair is proof that just about anyone who wants a job in Mississippi can get one.

"As you can see, there are 130 outstanding employers that are hiring, regardless of what we are reading or hearing about. There are outstanding job opportunities here in Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast," Buckner said.

As for Sergeant Banister, she says she found a few good men and women at the job fair.

"I found plenty of people who are Army strong," Sgt. Banister said.