Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Job Fair Hopes to Fill 650 Jobs; Coming Express Scripts Call Center a Much Needed Prescription in St. Marys

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Job Fair Hopes to Fill 650 Jobs; Coming Express Scripts Call Center a Much Needed Prescription in St. Marys

Article excerpt

Byline: Gordon Jackson, The Times-Union

ST. MARYS -- In a county where more than 1,500 jobs have been lost the past two years, there's some hope for those looking for full-time work.

A job fair is scheduled June 21-22 to begin the hiring process for 650 employees of Camden County's newest employer.

Darrell Carter, a spokesman for Express Scripts, said the job fair will be at the new Coastal Georgia Community College Camden Center, where applicants for jobs at all levels will be interviewed.

"The job fair will lay the foundation," Carter said.

New employees for the Fortune 500 company will undergo about five weeks of training before Express Scripts opens in late August, Carter said. The St. Louis-based company manages pharmacy benefit claims.

At a meeting with Camden County public officials Monday, Carter toured an old Wal-Mart store at the Kings Bay Village shopping center that will be the newest Express Scripts office.

Renovations are on schedule and Carter said he expects no problems that could delay the opening of the customer-service center. The company has similar offices in eight states as well as Canada, according to the company's Web site.

A trained workforce, support from local public officials and the city's location in the Eastern time zone were considerations in the decision to open in St. Marys, Carter said.

Carla Carper, executive director of the Camden/Kings Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, said the new business should have a positive impact on merchants at the shopping center. Some merchants have struggled since the Wal-Mart store closed and moved to a new location 3 miles west of Kings Bay Village in April 2001.

Carper said Express Scripts could serve as a "catalyst" to lure more businesses into the county.

In a county that has already lost more than 1,500 jobs the past two years, the prospect of other companies moving to Camden is good news.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to showcase our county and the city," said Bob Noble, executive director for the Camden County Joint Development Authority.

Jane Thomas Schaller, regional project manager for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism, said the state will provide training for the new employees through the QuickStart program. …

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