Job Fair Kicks Off Successfully

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If today's turn out for the job fair at the Workforce Center is any indication, General Dynamics should not have any problem filling more than 1,000 job openings.

Hundreds of applicants began arriving today, hours before the job fair even began.

So many, in fact, Workforce Center officials actually had a few problems.

Emotions were high Tuesday at the Workforce Center offices.

Job applicant Shalona Gipson says, "[I'm] intimidated! A little bit. Intimidated, but I'm confident that it's going to pay off. [I] said a little prayer before I walked in the door so we're good."

Mia Lewis says, "[I'm] a little nervous and excited that this is a new company that's gonna do a lot for the people here in panama city cause it is such a huge - it's a big building so they're going to need a lot of people."

General Dynamics is hoping to hire as many as 1,400 people to work at new call center, opening in the old Sallie Mae building in the Lynn Haven Industrial Park.

The company is looking for supervisors, managers and customer service representatives.

General Dynamics asked the Workforce Center to do the majority of application process.

Workforce Services Director Maria says, "We've really just in the last two weeks nailed down our job fair plan."

Despite the planning, Tuesday's turnout was overwhelming.

In fact, so many applicants showed up, the Workforce Center ran out of equipment.

Goodwin says, "They have a process, a hiring process, that they are administering pre-employment assessments. So we just don't have enough computers to administer the assessment."

Goodwin says she'll be working with General Dynamics to accommodate more people.

For now she's urging everyone to go online and fill out the pre-employment assessment at home.

Workforce will be holding job fairs for General Dynamics every Monday at 9am and and Tuesday at 12pm in August.

To complete that pre-employment assessment and find out more about the job openings, log onto