Amazon, Walmart, Wegmans part of Oct. 8 FCEDA virtual career fair for displaced workers

Amazon, Walmart and Wegmans are among more than 20 companies in Northern Virginia that will be seeking candidates for thousands of open positions at the October 8 Hiring and Reskilling Virtual Career Fair, the third in a series of virtual career fairs presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). The event is open to anyone looking for job and/or reskilling opportunities. Participation is free of charge and registration details can be found here.

In addition to Amazon, Walmart and Wegmans, companies and organizations seeking candidates for jobs and/or job training programs during the event include Cox Communications, Fairbrook Hotels, George Mason University’s Continuing and Professional Education Division, Marymount University, Navy Federal Credit Union, Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, Northern Virginia Community College, Revature, Securitas and Smoothstack. (See Securitas profile below.)

“The FCEDA is proud to host the Hiring and Reskilling Virtual Career Fair,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “We thank the companies that will be interviewing candidates at the fair and the organizations that offer reskilling and upskilling programs. Many people are in need of jobs because of layoffs at this unprecedented time. Each person hired saves a household. We at the FCEDA are here to help.”

The virtual career fair is part of an FCEDA talent initiative funded by Fairfax County to attract, retain, grow and retrain workers. The initiative pivoted during the COVID-19 crisis to connect displaced workers with companies doing surge-hiring during the pandemic.

“The economic effects of the pandemic continue to be felt particularly hard among our residents in industry sectors such as hospitality, transportation and restaurants, so I am grateful that the FCEDA is working to reach those workers,” said Jeffrey C. McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “This is a great way to make sure that all of our residents have access to open jobs and opportunities to gain new skills.”

The Hiring and Reskilling Virtual Career Fair will welcome job seekers of all backgrounds and levels of experience, especially those unemployed due to COVID-19. The open positions will span a variety of industries, and not all require a college degree—including store clerks, construction, program managers, information security analysts and more. For those interested in training programs, organizations will be in attendance that train and place candidates in lucrative tech careers in a matter of months at no cost to participants.

During the event, participants will be able to browse companies in a virtual lobby, enter companies’ booths, view open positions, engage in video conferencing and chat with HR representatives in real-time – all from the comfort of their homes.

The virtual career fair series is the latest FCEDA response to the COVID-19 crisis to connect job seekers with companies that are hiring now. The first two virtual career fairs collectively attracted nearly 1,700 attendees and resulted in over 2,500 completed conversations between job seekers and hiring reps from companies such as Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

These virtual career fairs are just one way that FCEDA is aggressively marketing the region’s companies to top talent locally and across the nation. If you are an employer that would like to promote your job openings, visit the Employer Resources page for more information or contact Mike Batt, FCEDA’s director of talent initiative programs at mbatt@fceda.org.

Securitas joins virtual career fair to hire displaced workers, others

Securitas Security Services USA, a global company headquartered in Sweden, is actively hiring for security guard positions in Northern Virginia and will attend the virtual career fair. More than 2,000 Securitas employees are based out of the Chantilly regional office, with work assignments at locations throughout the region, predominantly at Fortune 100 companies and data centers.

“We’re constantly recruiting. We hire approximately 20 people a week on average,” said Joel Gininger, area vice president at Securitas Security Services USA. “Workers in the hospitality and retail sectors who have been displaced by the pandemic are very attractive to us because they have the customer service skills necessary to do the job.”

Securitas is also interested in hiring former enlisted military personnel, Gininger said. “Veterans can join a both a growing company and a growing industry and learn along the way and get more and more responsible positions,” Gininger said. “Veterans have a tremendous work ethic. They have some really good basic skills but need to join an organization where they can then build on that. That’s the group that we’re looking for.”

The company also hires students at area colleges who work while attending school. “It’s a relatively high turnover industry because it’s hourly wages and the wages start at $13 to $15 an hour,” explained Gininger. “So there is an expectation that a number of people will move on to other opportunities. We attract a lot of students. So by definition, when they graduate and they have their degrees, they’ll move on.”

“Retired people are another great source for us,” Gininger added. “And one of the reasons why Securitas is attractive to both students and the retirees is the flexible hours, because we are a 24/7 show, and there are people who would enjoy working the night shift and it fits very nicely to their work/life balance requirement.”

With a long-time presence in Fairfax County, Securitas moved its Northern Virginia/D.C. regional office to Chantilly last year. Prior to that, Securitas was located in the Annandale area of Fairfax County since 1980.

Fairfax County is a great location for Securitas’s Northern Virginia/DC office because “the vibrancy and sophistication of our client base matches up very nicely with our service offerings,” according to Gininger. “We have an extremely low turnover rate in relation to other parts of the country. And that’s because we have great clients. It’s the clients that drive the business. And Fairfax County has great clients.”

Most job opportunities at Securitas do not require prior security experience, Gininger said. Entry-level employees will be trained and can move up in the organization, if desired.

“If somebody is willing to work hard and be flexible and learn this, the sky’s the limit for an organization like security,” Gininger said. “So I think that’s a big take-away, especially in the current economic climate where whole industries are getting devastated.”

New employees at Securitas must pass a background check and undergo a free 18-hour training course. Additional training is specific to a work location, with some requiring minimal further training, and others as much as 56 more hours of training.

Supplemental training is also now being conducted that is specific to the COVID-19 environment, according to Gininger. For example, security personnel may now be required to ask building visitors COVID-19 survey questions in order to approve or deny their entry. Maintaining proper crowd control in lobbies is also critical during the pandemic. Security personnel may also have the responsibility to distribute personal protective equipment to building visitors.

Securitas’ roots go back to 1850, when one of its legacy companies, Pinkerton, was founded by Allan Pinkerton in Chicago. By 1861, Pinkerton achieved national recognition when he uncovered and foiled a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Another of Securitas’ affiliate companies, Burns International, was formed in 1909 in Chicago. Founded in 1934 in Sweden, Securitas began its expansion into the United States when it acquired Pinkerton in 1999 and Burns International in 2000.

To find out more about careers at Securitas, click here.

September 24, 2020