Second job fair planned for displaced workers in West

Posted at 7:42 AM, May 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-16 09:25:07-04

Waco, TX – Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas will host a job fair on Wednesday, May 22 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 2547 Jerry Mashek Drive in West, Texas.


Workforce Solutions staff members have been assisting displaced workers at an on-site mobile workforce unit since a week after the April 17 West Fertilizer Plant explosion, and the job fair was scheduled in response to their needs. The job fair will have a strong focus on the health industry, but Workforce Solutions Business Services Manager Jose Palacios said there will also be recruitment for positions that cross over into various other industries including maintenance, cooks, clerical, drivers, housekeeping and others.


The May 22 job fair follows a hiring event Workforce Solutions hosted on April 29 for the West Rest Haven nursing home that was destroyed in the explosion displacing nearly 150 employees.


"The April job fair was held primarily for the West Rest Haven employees as part of our Rapid Response services, which were requested by the nursing home's administration within a week of the explosion," said Palacios. "Since that time, we've been able to identify additional businesses within the community that were affected, and we want to be able to provide additional opportunities for those businesses as well as for West Rest Haven."


Workforce Solutions is offering resume writing and interviewing techniques workshops prior to the job fair to help prepare affected workers who are interested in attending. Resume writing workshops will be held from 9-11 am and 2-4 pm, and interviewing techniques workshops will be held from 11 am-1 pm on Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21. The location for the workshops has not yet been determined. That information will be posted to the West Explosion Resources page on the Workforce Solutions website at as soon as it becomes available. 


Those who plan to attend the job fair and already have a resume are encouraged to bring it to the workshops. Individuals will also have access to computers and Internet at the mobile workforce unit, which is now located at the Old Best Theater in downtown West at 218 N. Main Street (previous location was on Tokio Road across from the West Community Center).


All job-seekers and affected workers in West and the surrounding area are invited to attend the job fair. No registration is required. Attendees are encouraged to dress for an interview and should bring a pen along with 20-25 copies of their resume.


Area employers with available positions are invited to register to attend the event by contacting Workforce Solutions Business Services Unit at (254) 296-5201 or by e-mail at


Other workforce services available through the mobile workforce unit include assistance with filing for unemployment, information about unemployment benefits, job search assistance, and registering for work online through Work-in-Texas. The mobile unit houses 13 computer stations with full Internet access that individuals can also use for other matters such as checking e-mail.


Employers and displaced workers interested in obtaining services can visit the mobile unit or call the McLennan County Workforce Solutions Center in Waco toll free at (866) 982-9226. For updates on services and events specific to the West community or for more information about services provided by Workforce Solutions, please visit