Many workers who were recently laid off from area companies applied at Hershey, as reported today in the Waynesboro News Virginian:
Mike Birchfield, of Greenville, arrived at the Best Western Waynesboro around 8 a.m. Wednesday to apply for an entry-level job at the Stuarts Draft Hershey Chocolate plant.Hundreds of local jobs have been lost in the past six months as companies such as Invista, Gem Ply, Mohawk, American Safety Razor, and others scale back during turbulent economic times.
At 4:30 p.m., Birchfield was still waiting for an interview, and was among hundreds of other applicants who had filled out applications during the day.
The plant is holding a three-day job fair at the hotel to fill more than 100 production jobs. Birchfield found himself in a long line “that was all the way around the building past the front.”
“This would be like winning the lottery,’’ said Birchfield, of being hired at Hershey. Birchfield was among recent layoffs at Stuarts Draft’s Ply Gem plant.
The demand for the Hershey jobs shows there has been a slowdown in Augusta County, Waynesboro and Staunton, but “not nearly as severe as other places in the country,’’ said Ben Carter, president and CEO of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce.