Poinciana job fair attracts a growing number of employers.

The next Poinciana Job Fair, on June 9, is attracting a growing number of businesses looking to hire. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

POINCIANA – Next month’s Poinciana Job Fair keeps getting bigger, but not because more and more job hunters are signing up to attend.
Instead, more employers are registering to find workers – including fields that are not related to construction work, which was the original intent of the job fair.
“We actually had the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate contact us,” said Wendy Farrell, a member of the board of directors for the Poinciana Economic Development Alliance, which is sponsoring the job fair on Saturday, June 9. “They have 150 jobs they are hiring for.”
“The Omni is hiring hospitality workers right now,” said Nick Murdock, the chairman of PEDA. “They need food servers, house keepers, and there are two to three banquet managers positions available as well.”
The job fair will be held at the Liberty High School cafeteria at 4250 Pleasant Hill Road in Poinciana, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This is the second of what is expected to become a series of regular job fairs in the community, connecting local residents to career opportunities becoming available here.
Hiring is not going to take place on a first come, first served basis, so applicants can show up anytime during the scheduled hours.
The job fair was originally designed to match residents with a background in construction work to several major construction projects now underway in Poinciana, including the new Poinciana Medical Center being built off Cypress Parkway. The hospital, the community’s first, broke ground in February.
Robins & Morton, the sub-contractors working on the Poinciana Medical Center, will be at the job fair, and so will Manhattan Construction, the sub-contractors for another project, the widening of Poinciana Boulevard.
“If you drive up Poinciana Boulevard now, you can see two cranes on the side of the road,” Murdock said. “That will be a two and a half year project.”
Other hiring participants, in addition to the Omni Orlando Resort, include the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Toho Water Authority in Kissimmee.
Murdock said other businesses and contractors may sign up before next month as well.
He added that Quality Labor Management, an employment agency based in Winter Park and Sanford — which fills construction-related jobs in Central Florida — will also be at the job fair. QLM actually send representatives to an earlier job fair that PEDA sponsored in March at the Poinciana Community Center, and has decided to come back to find more applicants, Murdock said.
‘’QLM will be working at the June 9 construction job fair as well,” Murdock said. “They do have jobs now available, and they have hired eight people from the last job fair.”
PEDA’s first job fair was on Saturday, March 24. More than 135 applicants showed up, including 112 Poinciana residents and 68 qualified construction workers.
It was an encouraging turnout for PEDA, because this was a very specialized job fair, with only one employer on the scene: Quality Labor Management.
PEDA had originally scheduled the larger job fair for March 24, but 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.
The chief operating officer of that new hospital, Joanna Conley, had asked PEDA to postpone the job fair for a few months because the principal contractor on the project, Robins & Morton, wanted more time before they could begin the general hiring. The contractor began laying the foundation for the hospital on Feb. 17, the first day of construction.
TECO, the school in Kissimmee, will be on hand at the June 9 job fair to discuss further educational opportunities.
Then in November, PEDA will host a job fair for medical and health care-related jobs at the Poinciana Medical Center. This was done, Murdock said, at the request of Conley.
PEDA was formed last summer by a group of local volunteers, who wanted to be sure that with as many as 7,000 new construction jobs coming to Poinciana, as many of those jobs as possible would go to qualified local residents.
Since then, PEDA has expanded its mission to promote more economic development throughout the community of 84,000 residents, and is also working now to become a fully operational non-profit organization.

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