BEAUMONT, Texas — Hamshire-Fannett School Superintendent Dwaine Augustine came to the 12News job fair at the MCM Eleganté Hotel hoping to fill multiple positions across the district.
Augustine represented one of over 25 different employers at the job fair on
Thursday, February 21, 2019.
The longtime administrator understands how Southeast Texas can be a hotbed for potential employees.
Augustine talked to everyone he met about the value of education and the impact teachers have on kids' lives.
"Teachers sort of drive everything, so every other career field, it's driven by what we do in public education so there is always going to be a need for teachers," Augustine said.
He admits his district often gets overlooked by job seekers due to its small size.
"Larger districts pay more than we do so we attract people through other means, such as benefits, smaller class sizes and those sorts of things," Augustine said.
A few rows over, Ann Bernard of Knife River Corporation, one of the largest construction materials and contracting companies in the U.S. according to its website, worked hard to fill vacancies.
"Normally, we would be hiring two people a week, and I’m lucky if I can hire one a week at this time," Bernard said.
State data shows the unemployment rate in the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas has fallen to 5.9 percent as of December 2018. This drop comes after the Beaumont and Port Arthur areas saw a 6.6 percent unemployment rate in December 2017.
"It’s great that unemployment levels are low, but it does make it more difficult to hire the people that we need," Bernard said.
Employers agree that as the economy improves, job fairs become even more critical.
“Recruiting is not a one-time shot. We recruit year-round and to have a job fair like this, and have them often, help us and other industries fill that gap we need," Augustine said.
12News hosted two job fairs in 2018, seeing over 1,500 people in total attend. The February 21, 2019 job fair saw over 800 attendees. Stay connected on all of our social platforms for updates on upcoming job fairs.