CAPE CANAVERAL – It is becoming a familiar sight in the Space Coast region of Florida – job fairs. The one held on Sept. 16 started at noon and either soon-to-be unemployed or currently unemployed workers stood in line for the groups and companies that attended the event. Resumes in hand, many of these workers have spent years servicing the space shuttle fleet. Now they stood, hoping to find something to allow them to keep them employed.
The first day of the fair, Sept. 15, was held at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and was only open to current KSC employees. The second day of the fair was held at ‘Radisson at the Port’ in Cape Canaveral. This is similar to the job fair held this past June.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Brevard Workforce teamed up to host the job fair with numerous private sector companies, as well as federal employers attending. Over 30 employers, both locally-based and national groups attended the job fair. Some of these included Lockheed Martn, L3, Raytheon, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and General Electric.
Brevard Workforce was contacted for comment regarding the job fair on several occasions but did not respond. Those workers who try to contact Brevard Workforce’s Aerospace Transition Program are greeted by an automated message that states it could be a week or longer before someone will contact them.
As the Space Shuttle Program comes to an end, KSC’s Human Resources Office is trying to assist employees that are facing unemployment find new work. Kennedy’s Human Resources Office has hosted a number of seminars, workshops and other events to reduce the impact that these layoffs will have. At least some of the workers that will be laid off were relying on the Constellation Program. However, with the president’s about-face on space matters they too now found themselves in the unemployment line.
“We stay closely connected with our contractor counterparts,” said Stacie Phillips the Chief of NASA’s KSC HR Development and Recognition Office. “We could very well be doing another job fair in the spring but we haven’t decided just yet. We will align with the needs of the workforce to determine what could benefit them the most.
These job fairs are having a positive impact on those impacted by the waves of lay offs that are affecting the region. The employers at the job fair spoke of the high quality of the candidates and stated that many that attended were offered interviews. The employees that attended also had a positive view of this event.
“Employees felt the off site fair was better than the one in June because they were given more one-on-one time with potential employers.” Phillips said. “It was more personal and it allowed them to highlight their skills.”