By Nick Worth
A hiring fair will be held only for employees of the Catalyst Paper Mill and the Apache Railway on Friday, Sept. 14, according to Judy Bratcher, Workforce Investment Act executive director for the Navajo and Apache Counties Workforce Partnership. The fair will run from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will be held at the Catalyst mill site.
Bratcher noted that, of the 308 Catalyst employees who are losing their jobs when the mill closes at the end of September, 152 attended a series of seven meetings she held at the mill last Thursday and Friday, Aug. 9 and 10.
Bratcher told the Navajo County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that during the meetings, the employees filled out a survey when they attended the meetings.
“I was surprised to find that of those 152 employees, only three are planning to retire,” she told the board. Bratcher then said the low rate in the number planning on retirement could be because a lot of workers planning to retire did not bother to attend the meeting.
Bratcher told the board 89 mill workers indicated on their surveys they would like to seek WIA services.
According to the WIA home page on the Navajo County website, the partnership provides help with such things as life skills training, remedial education, GED training, job-specific skills training, career counseling, job searches and on-the-job training.
Other services such as resume development, labor market information, and access to the Internet, telephone and copy machine for job applications are offered to those who qualify.
Bratcher told the Board of Supervisors that employers from around the state and across the nation would be attending the hiring fair looking for employees with the skill sets possessed by the Catalyst workers.
Employers wishing to have a table at the hiring fair are asked to contact Bratcher at (928) 524-4167.
For more information on the Navajo and Apache Counties Workforce Partnership, go to http://www.navajocountyaz.gov/wia/.
By Nick Worth