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Port St. Lucie city leaders hope virtual job fair will lead to fewer residents traveling out of county for work

Records show many residents leave county for their jobs
Posted at 9:29 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 00:33:45-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — More than 50 employers along the Treasure Coast are hoping to hire as many as 120 positions Wednesday during a virtual job fair hosted by the city of Port St. Lucie.

"We do everything from upholstery, canvas. We build our own cabinets. We make electrical harnesses," said Thomas Lawson, vice president of operations at Pursuit Boats in Fort Pierce.

Lawson said at his boat manufacturing facility, employees have been hard to come by recently.

"It's been a challenge," said Lawson. "We've had to go on our own and have several job fairs here at the facility trying to encourage people to come."

The virtual job comes at a time when county leaders are working to get residents to find employment locally.

St. Lucie County records show 62% of working residents travel outside the county for employment.

"These jobs vary from construction to admin, IT, warehouse, marine," said Victor Melendez, with CareerSource Research Coast.

Records show 17% of employed St. Lucie County residents travel to Martin County for work.

Thirteen percent travel to Palm Beach County.

About 5% travel to Broward County.

Melendez said the Treasure Coast unemployment rate remains at 5.8% compared to 7.8% during the height of the pandemic.

"It hasn't changed much since our last job fair, but the demand for opportunities is there," said Melendez. "Employers are seeking. They're looking for talent in our region."

"Right now we still have openings for, I believe, it's about 45-50 people," said Lawson. "The demand for our product has gone just through the roof ever since the pandemic started."

Employers and employees looking to register for the virtual job fair can click here.