SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – City officials are looking at ways to increase the local workforce at the new Savannah Arena site.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson has tapped two employees to serve as project managers and “be the city’s check and checkmate” as work on the multi-million dollar development continues.
“Together we’re going to work together to make sure that we complete this job not only on time and on budget, but we also have a local workforce,” Johnson said.
At this time, the focus is on hiring local construction workers and small contractors.
Johnson said about 200 interested applicants attended a job fair last week. Another fair will be held on March 13 at the Savannah Civic Center.
“If you’re looking for a job, if you’re looking for an opportunity, if you’ve been criminally justice-involved and you need that next chance, if you need skills, this is an opportunity,” the mayor said.
The city has partnered with WorkSource Coastal to get the word out about job openings and engage with minority and disadvantaged workers.
“The improvement of wage levels, of skill levels, of employment, those are in my mind as important as the seats and the performance areas,” City Manager Michael Brown said.
Patrick Wipperman is a Project Executive on the Savannah Arena project. He said it is on time and on budget, but they need more local workers to help finish.
“That’s why the mayors initiative to get as many local people here as possible, this is when we need them. We need them to come in and finish the interiors,” Wipperman said.
Mayor Johnson believes this project will be a game changer for the community.
“We want this to be a legacy project so that when people leave here, that fathers and mothers can bring their sons here and say mommy and daddy helped build this,” Johnson said.
Officials say the Savannah Arena’s exterior construction is on track to be completed by the end of April.