March 24 job fair in Poinciana is back on track.

Osceola Regional Medical Center broke ground on Feb. 7 on the new Poinciana Medical Center, which is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs this year. (Photo by Dave Raith).

POINCIANA – After initially cancelling a job fair scheduled for March 24, the local economic development group that had been sponsoring it has decided to hold the event after all, although with a slightly different purpose.
The Poinciana Economic Development Alliance had originally scheduled the job fair for Saturday, March 24 at the Poinciana Community Center at 395 S. Marigold Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was postponed until June 9 at the request of the employer that’s fueling most of the short term construction jobs coming to Poinciana, the Poinciana Medical Center. That’s the new hospital being built here. The hospital’s chief operating officer, Joanna Conley, had asked PEDA to postpone the job fair for a few months because the principal contractor on the project, Robins & Morton, said they needed more time to get ready before hiring would begin.
But now PEDA has rescheduled the job fair that had been planned for March 24, because a new player has come into the picture: an employment firm called Quality Labor Management, which has offices in Sanford and Winter Park and recruits workers for all levels of construction work.
When PEDA held its regular meeting on Thursday, March 15 at the Poinciana Community Center, two representatives of Quality Labor Management — Tami Laish, a sales executive, and Debbie Rodriguez, the vice president and co-owner – told the alliance’s members that they’d be happy to accept resumes at the March 24 fair, so it got put back on the calendar.
“We still are having the job hiring fair, but it will only be from 9 a.m. until noon, rather than until 3 o’clock, and it is still at the Community Center,” said Nick Murdock, the chairman of PEDA. “Then we’re still having the other one on June 9.”
Murdock said he was thrilled that Quality Labor Management had reached out to the community.

Nick Murdock, the chairman of the Poinciana Economic Development Alliance, says the March 24 job fair will still be held at the Poinciana Community Center. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

“This is huge good news,” he said. “I am even talking to them about having weekly sessions down here to take resumes. They assured me they have jobs all over town, construction-related. A lot of them are short term, but can turn into permanent jobs. They are like a labor employment service for construction workers, and they work with some of the largest contractors in Central Florida, as well as with Disney contractors. So they came with good references. They have immediate construction jobs and they want to interview people right away, so we are going to keep the March 24 date.”
Submitting a resume to this employment agency or being in their employment database doesn’t come with any hidden fees, Murdock said.
“It doesn’t cost PEDA anything,” he said. “It doesn’t cost workers anything. They are a full employment firm. They do the taxes and workers comp and unemployment and even offer benefits.”
The difference between the two job fairs is that Quality Labor Management will be the only firm accepting resumes at the March 24 fair, and there is no guarantee that the jobs will be in Poinciana.
For those who want to find a local position, the job fair on June 9 will feature employers related to the ongoing construction of the Poinciana Medical Center, which is expected to be completed and open in the summer of 2013.
As for Quality Labor Management, “The jobs are all around Central Florida,” Murdock said. “We want to focus on South Orange, Polk and Osceola counties. Sometimes they will tell people ‘We have a job in Lake Mary, do you want to drive up there?’ and they will understand if people don’t want to do that now. But they do have projects they are now hiring for, and they are hiring positions from labors to project managers and project superintendents. Electricians are their biggest need at the moment.”
At the March 24 job fair, there will be a registration table manned by PEDA volunteers, and representatives from Quality Labor Management will be on hand as well.
“They will interview them in terms of what their qualifications are,” Murdock said. “ They were be accepting resumes and actually positioning to hire people for specific positions. For all qualified workers, they will actually continue to put these people in their database and continue to help them find jobs. And then, of course, we have the hospital jobs coming up.”
On Feb. 7, Osceola Regional Medical Center held a groundbreaking ceremony in the community for the new hospital that it plans to build here. Osceola Regional, the hospital in downtown Kissimmee, has already taken on subcontractors who will be hiring people to work on this construction project. The construction work began on Feb. 18.
The new date for that job fair is Saturday, June 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Liberty High School cafeteria, 4250 Pleasant Hill Road. It’s expected to be the first of a series of regular job fairs that will be held throughout 2012 to connect Poinciana residents to specific jobs and career opportunities available in the community.
People who attend the June event are being asked to bring a resume. There will be a number of “trade” tables at the job fair, where subcontractors will be recruiting workers in numerous construction-related fields, including general labor; concrete and masonry; metals, woods and plastics; thermal, doors and windows; finishes – painting and wall covering; specialties; mechanical; electrical; and professionals and management.
For more information about the construction jobs that residents can apply for at these two job fair, call Murdock at 407-565-0849.

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