PIKEVILLE, Ky. — More than 2,000 people attended Pikeville Medical Center’s job fair on Friday, Jan. 29 in hopes of finding employment.
The job fair, through which the medical center is hoping to place at least 250 workers, was heavily advertised, but officials were not expecting the turnout.
“We are aware of the down turned economy in our region,” said PMC Public Relations Director Laura Damron. “Obviously we know of the many layoffs that have taken place in the coal industry and in other industries as well. But I can say that we are pleasantly surprised by the turnout that we’ve had, and we’re very humbled as well because it is a reflection of the state of our regional economy.”
“Pikeville Medical Center needs good employees,” Damron said. “We have 250 job openings right now, and our region needs to get back to work. So we felt like this was a great opportunity to have this job fair at this time and help everyone involved.”
The fair was set up in the May Tower second floor atrium with six job tables broken up by different positions. Potential employees were lined up on each side stretching nearly to the back of the hospital.
“There are a lot of people here today because they’re looking for a new career opportunity,” Damron said. “Maybe this is their first job, maybe they’re just looking for a fresh start. We have seen an entire gamete of individuals here today, but predominantly laid off workers.”
Because of the overwhelming turnout, it was not feasible to do interviews on site today. They’re pushing those until Monday.
Mandi Coleman was one of the 2,000-plus that applied last Friday. She applied for phlebotomy receptionist, clerk and
nurse aid positions. She previously worked at PMC in 2010 as a nurse aid.
Coleman is currently employed at Double Kwik on Zebulon, but she is attracted to a job at the hospital in order to better support her family.
“The coverage and benefits here are amazing,” Coleman said. “I mean, look at the crowd. And I’m actually in school for human services, so this is more like what I want to be doing.”
Unlike hospital staff, Coleman said she and her fellow applicants were not surprised by the turnout at the job fair.
“I kindly expected a turnout like this,” Coleman said. “With everybody going through the problems with the economy, especially with the mining industry, it’s heart breaking is what it is. To see this, it really puts a lot of things into perspective. And I do wish everyone the best, and I’m hopeful for everyone. I wish they could hire everyone, but they can only do so much. We’re just fortunate to have this opportunity.”
For those who did not attend the job fair but are interested in one of the open positions at PMC, Damron suggests to apply as soon as possible as interviews will begin some time this week.
“There’s not a time limit on when they can apply, but I would encourage interested applicants to go ahead and do that as soon as possible because at some point soon interviews will take place,” Damron said.
Pikeville Medical Center currently employs a total of 2,600 employees, and is recognized as an Equal Opportunity Employer. Those interested can call (606) 218-4908 or may apply online at pikevillehospital.org.