The Wise County Career-Technical Center, in partnership with the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board and a host of local employers, is gearing up for an open house and job fair that Principal William Austin says presents opportunities at every level — from students to the school to the community at large.

The open house and job fair will be on Saturday, May 18, from 12 to 4 p.m. As of Thursday morning, Austin said, they had nearly 60 businesses signed up for the job fair with more than 200 available jobs.

"Those jobs are available for the public, people who don't have jobs, who are unemployed or underemployed," Austin stressed. "This is not just for students. We're trying to help our community people."

He noted it's not too late if you are a local business and want to be included. Contact Jason Sartin with the workforce development board at 276/883-5043 or j.sartin@swvaworks.com.

Austin noted two particular workshops that day which are time-sensitive.

A workshop on resume building skills and interviewing skills will be held at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m. is a workshop on personal financial management.

He noted there will be opportunity for participants to speak privately and confidentially.

There will be resources available if you want to better your position in life or in your work career, he said, and want to arrange for further training and education. "There will be people right there who can help you."

The open house is an opportunity for the public to see firsthand what all happens under the roof of that big blue building on Lake Street in Wise, across from the Wise County schools complex.

Austin says he's eager to share the success story of the center, where students from all across Wise County and Norton hone trades that serve them a lifetime.

"We are taking action in stimulating this economy," Austin said. "If we could put people in those 200 jobs at the end of this day, putting people to work would help the economy."

Austin noted there are wide-ranging positions available — from general laborers to welders and heavy equipment technicians, from auto body to mechanics, from customer service and call center representatives to office administrators and nurses, from retail to sales to sales managers. There are jobs in security, law enforcement and corrections.

Most area car dealers will be on hand, Austin noted, as will Norris-Built Fabrication, Komatsu and Rish Equipment. The Virginia Employment Commission and a variety of other agencies will be there, including the Veterans Administration and most branches of the military. Virginia State Police and Wise County Sheriff's Office will be there, as will regional, state and federal corrections.

For more information, please contact Jason Sartin at 276/883-5043 or William Austin at 276/328-6113 or waaustin@wisek12.org.

The Wise County Career and Technical Center is located at 621 Lake St. NE, Wise.

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