By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
An upcoming business expo and job fair is putting a spotlight on White Hall, Marion County and surrounding areas.
The White Hall Business Association is offering a variety of activities for the public on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Middletown Mall. There is no admission charge. In addition to the business expo and job fair, the day will also include a Health and Wellness Center and the first Taste of White Hall.
“What’s a nice feature is that we really have three events in one,” said Jonathan Board, president of the association.
He said the White Hall Business Association was initially hoping for about 30 different vendors to participate in the business showcase and employment expo, but interest grew significantly. A diverse mix of more than 70 vendors have signed up.
“We were amazed by the outpouring of the support and the desire of these people to show up,” Board said.
The business expo and job fair will include businesses from Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Morgantown, Doddridge County and throughout North Central West Virginia and beyond. Some companies will be hiring. Others will be trying to sell their items and introduce their brands to the public, and entities will also be offering training and job placement.
In addition, the Division of Natural Resources will provide classes to teach children how to cast fishing rods.
Board said this event is a one-stop shop and will give all of the participants great exposure.
The following higher education institutions will be in attendance: Fairmont State University, West Virginia University, West Virginia Wesleyan College and Waynesburg University. All the branches of the military will also be represented.
During Monday night’s board of education meeting, Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price reported that the Central Office will provide buses so schools can take groups of students to the business expo if they wish.
“We want to try to provide an opportunity for students to look at what employment is out there,” he said. “We’re supposed to be preparing students for college and the world of work.”
One way to help students get ready for the future is to show them what options are available, Price said.
During the event, the Health and Wellness Center will feature at least 10 health-related companies, including medical and holistic practices, pharmacies and more. Flu shots, health screenings and complimentary massages will be available.
For the Taste of White Hall, which will run from 3 to 7 p.m., the public can check out about a dozen restaurants from the area that will be selling food items and offering samples.
A lot of door prizes will be given away during the day, too.
Board said the White Hall Business Association’s more than 60 members, who are talented and offer different sets of skills, helped get the word out about the event. The association has promoted the activities through advertising campaigns and also reached out to the community through traditional signage and other mediums.
The organization has partnered with many people to bring the event to life, and a lot of volunteers have been involved. Board thanked the Middletown Mall for its assistance.
He said the White Hall Business Association has enjoyed watching the community at large come together to put on this special event, and he’s anticipating a very high turnout on Thursday.
“We’re really excited and so happy to offer this to the community,” Board said. “It’s turned into something that has taken on a life of its own.”
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.