Job seekers turn out for Express Employment Professionals drive-thru job fair in Biloxi

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The demand for workers continues to rise as unemployment benefits get closer to being cut in the next few weeks.

Ocean Springs resident Elise Clark was one of more than one hundred job-seekers to roll in at the drive-thru job fair Monday put on by Express Employment Professionals in hopes of getting on the fast track to getting back on her feet and back into the work force. Simply put, Elise is ready to get back to work. “There’s nothing specific, just office work-temp, permanent – part-time, full-time, anything!”

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This isn’t the first time around for the Biloxi-based employment service. Recruiter Sarah Saunders said, “This is our second publicized big job fair we’ve had since after COVID. First one was in April. We had more than 400 visitors in one day. This one’s a little bit slower, but we have more jobs now, so hopefully it picks up in a little bit.  We have over 125 companies right now on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, all the way to Stone County with open positions that they have immediate starts for. With 125 different companies, with at least two or three positions if not more at each, I know a few of the casinos, one casino in particular, has  30 open positions for this week, so ball park anywhere from 250 to 300 starting positions open this week.”

And this job fair could not come at a better time with increased demand for workers and with the supplemental $600 a week to unemployment set to expire at the end of July. “I think with COVID and all the CDC requirements for maintaining social distance, it was time to take a new outlook on applying for work. Right now though, I would recommend starting now before the supplemental income is over, that way you can be ahead of the game.”

That’s just one of the many driving forces of job-seekers like Elise Clark, who hopes to get on the payroll sooner rather than later. “Maybe today is my day! Be nice to follow up with this and say I got a job!”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!