BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The city of Benton Harbor hosted a job fair on Thursday in an effort to hire people for jobs connected to the ongoing lead line replacement.
They've pledged to have all lines replaced by May of 2023.
"Applying for a job to open up new opportunities," said Isaiah Jefferson who attended the job fair.
Isaiah Jefferson came dressed to impress, looking for a job in the construction industry. He has three to four years of experience already.
"I just wanted to see. I just came out here and took a risk. I like helping people, so I was like why not help. Even though I have been doing that already, so I thought why not help while you can?," said Jefferson.
Like many of the others who showed up, they were told to come to the fair expecting to be hired on the spot.
"The lead line replacement is one of the main reasons we decided to have this job fair, so we can get people qualified to do it," said Ethel Clark-Griffin, a commissioner with the city of Benton Harbor.
#HAPPENING: The city of Benton Harbor is hosting a job fair to hire for jobs that coincide with lead line replacement.— Lauren Kummer (@LaurenKummerTV) February 24, 2022
It was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and it’s already very busy. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/xFPwEEaGRy
Last month, city commissioners hired five contractors to handle the work, and residents are needed in the various jobs to keep the project moving.
"The pandemic left a hole in a lot of industries so some people are skeptical about going back to work, but construction-related and other outside unrelated jobs people are not so reluctant to take. It is just another opportunity for people to step into the work environment," said Sharon Henderson, another commissioner with the City of Benton Harbor.
Some of the job openings include contractors, landscapers, healthcare, community outreach and public safety.
Job pay ranges from $15 and up.
"This offers a wide-range of opportunity in education, every financial field, every job classification, so this is a wide-range. Like I said, you might be a laborer, you might want to be in upper-level, administrator, whatever position, we’ve got it all," said Clark-Griffin.
The job fair was held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Benton Harbor City Hall.
More information on open jobs can be found through the city clerk's office at (269) 927-8408.
Daily distribution of bottled water for city residents will continue until the lead lines are replaced.