Martinsville/Henry County Job Fair Today - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Martinsville/Henry County Job Fair Today

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It could be a good day for people looking for work in the Martinsville/Henry County area.

The Chamber of Commerce will host a job fair with 1,500 openings today.

The city of Martinsville has been battling high unemployment rates for years; the rate is currently is just above 14 percent.

More than 40 employers will be at the fair today, and if most of those jobs are filled, that could have a big impact for the area.

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, 738 people in the city of Martinsville and 2,177 people in Henry County were unemployed in July, so there are enough jobs being offered today for about half of the unemployed people in the area.

About one-third of the jobs are permanent positions and the rest are evenly split between part-time and temporary employment. Typically the event offers a lot of manufacturing positions and there will still be a fair share of those. Over the past few years, some big furniture and textile manufacturers left the area, but the president of the Chamber of Commerce Amanda Witt says many smaller manufacturing companies in the area are now expanding their businesses and will be looking to add employees today.

There are also going to be jobs in fields like retail, education, and healthcare.

The fair will take place at the National Guard armory in Martinsville from 9 a.m. to noon.

Some people left last year's event with a job, and Witt says that could happen again this year as some companies are doing on-site interviews.

"To be able to put people back to work is huge," Witt says. "I've seen lots of job loss in the past and it's tough. But we want to show folks there is opportunity here for them."