MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Great American Steamboat Company held its job fair Tuesday, offering 300 new jobs with more than a thousand people fighting to get one.
A crowd packed the Cook Convention Center hoping to find work on the new Mississippi riverboat. So many showed up, job fair organizers ran out of applications.
800 people lined up within the first two hours of the job fair; 1000 applied online before the doors even opened.
John Gibson said he just wanted to get there early, "in front of everybody else." So Gibson showed up at 6:30 in the morning. Because with more than 1,500 people vying for 300 jobs, such as room attendants, room attendants, porters, store room operators, chefs, and servers, competition is tough.
Gibson snagged a face-to-face with the chairman of the steamboat company.
"I'm experienced in bartending, experience as a deck hand. I worked on a river boat before," Gibson said. He hopes it's enough to stand out in this crowd...
John Waggoner with the Great American Steamboat Company noted, "These are people that really want jobs; they're not asking for a handout, they're willing to work hard, so I wish we could offer 1000 jobs instead of only 300."
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says the jobs offered here are a sign of more to come. "Every day I get letters from the smaller employers too, adding 10 people here, 15 people here, adding square feet to their operations. So things are looking up."
Things are looking up for Gibson too. He made it through two rounds of interviews, and comes back Wednesday for a third.
Those who snag a job from this fair start work soon, training begins in 3 to 4 weeks.