Rumford Economic Development Director George O’Keefe posts a flyer announcing the Shoemakers Job Fair on Feb. 9. (Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin)

RUMFORD — An established Maine shoe company is interested in locating here, according to George O’Keefe, the town’s economic development director.

He said the company is considering Rumford because “we have a history of shoemaking, and more importantly, we have a workforce that has experience in making shoes.”

But before a decision is made, the town and Maine CareerCenters will hold a Shoemakers Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Rumford Falls Auditorium at 145 Congress St. The front and rear entrances will be open.

“The employer is making their decision about whether or not to come to Rumford based on the response to the job fair,” O’Keefe said. It’s especially geared toward former G.H. Bass employees in the area, he said.

There will be 15 to 20 full-time positions available at $12 to $20 per hour for stitchers, machine operators and mechanics.

“This is not a start-up,” O’Keefe said. “They are in production right now.”

The primary product would be dress shoes, with possibilities for moccasins and loafers, he said.

“I have made it very clear to the employer that we have this workforce here,” O’Keefe said. “I know it because I’ve done a fair amount of research on the operation of G.H. Bass in Rumford.”

He said the employer is committed to training new employees and has opportunities for anyone with exposure or experience in shoemaking. There are also training opportunities for those with machine operating experience, but not in shoemaking.

“We are being very careful to make sure this employment opportunity is available to people in the Rumford area first,” he said. “And once we have the job fair, it will then go out from there.”

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