General Dynamics Starts the Search for 1,400 Employees - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

General Dynamics Starts the Search for 1,400 Employees

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General Dynamics started the process of employing more than one thousand Bay County residents, Tuesday.

Recruiters from the company were at the Gulf Coast Workforce center performing interviews with hopes to find a full staff.

The Workforce Center was so overwhelmed with job hopefuls, that they were forced to shut down the fair about an hour and a half early in order to give everyone who showed up the chance to interview.

"We knew that it was going to be a big response, but we had no idea that it was going to be this big of a deal," said Maria Goodwin, Director of Workforce Services at the Workforce Center.

Job seekers did their best not to get discouraged by the huge number of applicants.

"I heard they were looking for a lot of people," said Tony Pallito, Job Seeker. "That's the only hope I have."

"I have a background in data entry and call center from Georgia, so I think I have a good chance," said Talitha Williamson, Job Seeker.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bay County's unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, which compared to the national average of 7.6 percent, is much better.

There are still some residents that have been searching for a stable job, for quite some time.

"I have currently been looking for a job for about three to four months now," said Janay Miller, Job Seeker. "I'm looking for a job opportunity where I can be promoted to another position instead of just having a dead end job."

"My number one concern is benefits and things like that," said Williamson. "I have kids so I need that."

General Dynamics announced earlier in the year, that they would be putting a call center in the old Sallie Mae building at Lynn Haven Industrial Park.

"There are 1,400 jobs in total and there are 7 different types of positions that they are hiring for, so there multiple jobs for each position," said Goodwin.  "They are really concentrating right now on their manager and supervisor positions, but of course they got customer service positions and other positions as well that they are trying to fill. We are going to really evaluate the process so we're going to have it flow a little bit smoother so we can handle the quantity of job seekers that we're looking at today."

The search for employees will continue through the end of August. The workforce center will host two General Dynamics Job Fairs per week, on Mondays 9am to 1pm and on Tuesdays Noon to 5pm.