CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hundreds of job seekers descended on the state Culture Center Wednesday for a state agency job fair. Seventeen state agencies took part in the day-long event sponsored by the Division of Personnel and WorkForce West Virginia.

Alysha Williams of Big Chimney visited several of the booths set up around the grand hall. She has a degree, now she said she needs a job to go with it.

“I recently graduated from college in February and I’m having a really hard time (finding a job).”

John Rymer, a senior personnel specialist with the state, said the state usually has about 40 employment opportunities on an average day. Those jobs can vary widely.

“The state hires groundskeepers to hospital administrators and everything in between,” according to Rymer.

With Williams degree in medical office administration, she was qualified for several jobs at the fair according to Rymer.

“An office assistant could work in any of these agencies. So you just don’t know. You just have to nose around and see what’s there,” he stressed.

Darren Mowrey of Elkview has a job but he was at the fair looking for a new position.

“I’m searching for a better career, looking for a change in my life,” he explained. “I’m looking for a job to better support my family.”

In this tough economy, Edward Mucklow of Charleston was hoping to find something in his field and soon.

“I’ve been out of work for about a year now.”

That’s not uncommon among those looking for a job. Rymer said if you have the right attitude and are willing to try something that may not be exactly what your looking for, you could find a career with the state.

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  • Just the facts

    Perhaps they should require the current employees to work 8 hours a day. I know for a fact there is more "goldbricking" at DOH and other agencies than anywhere else. you might get 5 hours of work or less from DOH employees. I cant believe the waste and inefficiency in DOH. But yet they all say we need more money to fix our attitudes. More pay won't fix a lack of management oversight or the will to work.

    • Ole Sasquatch

      I have worked in the private sector and also in the public sector. Believe me it is 2 different worlds.
      If you are lucky enough to get a job in the govt.- I myself would never complain. Pure Gravy.

    • WVU1

      This is generally true throughout all of the entities. I have dealt with many of them over the years and (generally) the employees are good people, but the culture of "they will get the effort they pay for" is rampant.

    • Beekeeper

      Baloney! Do you actually believe the snow plow operators operators only worked 5 hours during their 12 hour shifts last winter? Not to mention Sundays and holidays.

  • rick

    Good luck getting through the Division of Personnel they dont even read the applications and are directed to turn everyone down the first time for not being qualified. The second time it goes through. Our division cannot hire or keep people because of low pay. They can make more at McDonald's and get a free hamburger

  • Barrett

    Move to the Eastern Panhandle

  • TruthTeller

    There are several flaws with the employment situation in WV. They pay way too far below the national average and everything cost double in WV. So you can never get a head. There is also a political issue with getting hired for state jobs.
    Most people hired have relatives that work for
    the state. They like to keep it in the family if you know what I mean. That is not right and totally unfair towards some really qualified people.

    • WVU1

      Having lived in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, I can assure you that everything DOES NOT cost double in West Virginia. Gas is a little higher. Auto Insurance is way higher (due to all the WV people with no insurance). However, housing, utilities, food, etc. is WAY cheaper. And taxes of all kinds are not even close.

      You are trying really hard, but your facts are....let's say....not very factual.

    • Amy

      I think you need to check before you speak. Some of us work for the state and we did not get the job because of a relative. I took a test, was placed on a register, and waited for my name to come to the top of the register and then interviewed. Thank you very much for assuming that everyone gets things handed to them.

  • the truth

    The dark secret is most state agencies are in a crisis mode. Manchin to Tomblin have run working for the state in the ground. The rainy day fund the brag about is based off of doing nothing for their employees the last eight years. I could not in good conscience recommend anyone come to work for the state. Low pay, poor management, no reward for being productive or dedicated. A fringe benefit package that gets worse every year. Run away because almost all state jobs are dead end.

    • susanf1218

      Unless of course you are one of the appointed Super Secretaries. But you speak the truth!

  • Larry

    The states hiring practice is unfair in general. They always have jobs posted, but in order to apply for a lot of them, you must be a former, or current full time employee of the state. Since the working taxpayers are the ones funding all of these positions, they should be open to anyone to apply for, at all times.

    • vashti

      no disrespect larry but that is not entirely true. the positions that are open to former and current employees are open to everyone. you simply have to go thru a more elaborate application process. for instance many jobs you have to test for or require additional certifications that are on file for current or former employees.

  • John

    I thought that Tombin had a hiring freeze in place, along with all the veto cuts that he made to several service agencies here in the state, including a $1.1 million cut to senior services.