A workforce initiative in the River Valley area aims to help area job seekers and businesses connect through social media.

Organizers for the Fort Smith Small Business Resource Expo are using social media to expound on the WorkFortSmith initiative, with the goal of eliminating unemployment in the region.

WorkFortSmith founder, Miles Crawford, is using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to bring jobs and the unemployed together.

Area businesses can post openings on the free websites, and job seekers can then browse the latest postings.

Those looking for work can also provide their resume to WorkFortSmith, with the purpose of having them linked with promising job prospects, Crawford said.

"There was nothing to facilitate good job openings…for qualified people in the area," Crawford said.

Anyone who has ever used a job search website will know that, even with a refined search, they will still be sifting through globally located jobs to find those in their area.

WorkFortSmith only posts jobs in the Fort Smith region, including cities in both Sebastian and Crawford counties, making the job search for area residents much easier, Crawford said.

"This was an initiative we started shortly after Whirlpool laid off so many people a few years ago and a gray cloud came over our area," Crawford said. "The idea was to make sure those looking for jobs knew about the openings in our area."

A WorkFortSmith website is fully dedicated to the Small Business Resource Expo, but other media such as Facebook and Twitter caters to job postings and seekers.

WorkFortSmith social media sites are good for both job seekers and businesses, Crawford said. Not only can job seekers search the sites, but they can share jobs with friends who also are searching, he said.

In addition, all jobs posted are researched to be sure they are equal opportunity, he said.

"These are all going to be good, valuable jobs in the region," Crawford said.

For businesses, the sites work well because they are able to connect with people well suited to the jobs who are already located in the area. They save money on advertising and do not have to worry about driving traffic to the site where the job is posted, Crawford said.

"It’s been able to get [businesses] a lot more exposure to a lot more people on a regular basis," Crawford said.

Jobs are posted daily Monday-Friday. They can be found on Facebook at WorkFortSmith and @WorkFortSmith on Twitter. Job seekers also can email their resumes to workfortsmith@gmail.com.