ACC job fair draws 147 to conference center

Job searching for William Prater has been a two-year adventure. But the former Lebanon café owner may have made some headway Tuesday at the Arnold Community Council’s Community Job Assistance Fair in Manchester.

josh peterson“It’s been good,” said Prater, who now lives in Tullahoma. “I owned my own café [in Lebanon] and that’s the last job I had. Since then it has been more difficult because I find a lot of jobs where they say I am overqualified.”

Prater was one of 147 people who made their way through the doors of the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center Tuesday to get information from 20 vendors and, for some, find a job. The event was sponsored by the Arnold Community Council and State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma).

“I’ve sent three over to our office to go ahead and [start some paperwork towards a job],” said Wendy Woodside with Metro Industrial Jobs, one of 20 vendors in attendance. “We are a workforce management company and we basically have companies from Winchester to Sparta to Nashville but are based in Manchester. We have had a lot of people today and hopefully we can get some of them to work.”

For some people like Jamie Gibson of Tullahoma, finding a job with insurance was the mission Tuesday.

“I’ve got some possibilities to check out,” said Gibson, who has been unemployed for a couple of months. “I’m looking for somewhere to get some insurance. [At my last job] it would have been too expensive for them to get it and us to pay for it.”

William Prater, left, and Jamie Gibson, middle, both of Tullahoma, speak with Wendy Woodside of Metro Industrial Jobs during Tuesday’s job fair at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)

William Prater, left, and Jamie Gibson, middle, both of Tullahoma, speak with Wendy Woodside of Metro Industrial Jobs during Tuesday’s job fair at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)

Bowling emphasized the importance of these events because of the evolving job climate.

“It really gives the people resources that are available for those who may not be adept at using a computer,” said Bowling, who spent the morning at the fair and says she personally walked around and thanked each vendor. “People who attended not only were able to talk to human resource people but find out what the State of Tennessee has in place to assist people in this new job solicitation market….

Continue reading this story in next week’s (

July 24) print edition of the Manchester Times. Click here to subscribe to the print and/or online version of the paper.


Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm