Columbus job fair extended through 7 tonight; Kia will definitely be there

The Clear Channel Radio Job Fair taking place today at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave., was supposed to end at 2 p.m.

But the Georgia Department of Labor has decided to keep the event open through 7 p.m. so that more job seekers can stop by to meet with employers, particularly automaker Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

By noon today, about 1,300 people had visited the fair, one of three large recruiting events held each year in Columbus. About 90 companies, organizations, law enforcement agencies and educational institutions are on hand.

Not all of the employers attending the job fair are expected to stay through 7 p.m.

Kia, however, has committed to remaining the extra five hours, said Jamie Loyd, manager of the Labor Department's Columbus Career Center. The department has a large bank of computers set up specifically for prospects to fill out online applications with Kia.

The Web site for submitting applications is www.kiajobsingeorgia.com.

South Korea-based Kia needs to fill 2,500 positions for the 2.4 million-square-foot auto assembly plant that is being constructed in nearby West Point, Ga. Hiring will begin in April, with the factory looking to open in November 2009.