by: Kara Dixon
Posted: Mar 21, 2022 / 05:33 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 21, 2022 / 11:03 PM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A new campaign is hoping to help fill countless job openings in the Hampton Roads region.
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Virginia CareerWorks launched “Let’s Go to Work” to connect job seekers and employers who are desperately in need of staff.
Shawn Avery, who is the president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, says now that the economy has bounced back from the pandemic, vacancies need to be filled.
“A lot of individuals took off during work, stayed home with kids, or took early retirement and haven’t gone back into the workforce yet. We’re trying to get individuals caught up with the job openings,” he said.
Industries in high demand include shipbuilding, ship repair, information technology, and hospitality.
Avery said while the area does often have openings, it’s not normal for it to be this high.
“Our economy is pretty well situated during downturns due to the reliance on defense and maritime industry, but this time is different because we have low unemployment but also low labor force participation rates. This has really been a very unique time. It’s a unique time for the whole program,” he said.
The campaign will include spreading information about job openings, training, available programs, and education as well as job fairs.
Anyone who’s interested in a career change, newer to the workforce, a transitioning veteran, and more are all welcomed to learn more about the campaign, according to Avery.
“Many of the jobs we have are paid well about family-sustaining wage. They’re really opportunities for an individual to get into a career, not just a job but something for life with the benefits they’re offering,” he said. “Many of the companies are offering hiring bonuses or relocation bonuses. There are so many opportunities for individuals.”
The first job fair will be held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center on April 7 from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be over 100 employers.
To learn more about the resources for “Let’s Go to Work,” click here.