10-29-2019 – County job fair brings more jobs than ever

Posted on: October 29th, 2019 by admin


October 29, 2019


By Virginia Annable



Oct 29, 2019 12:00 AM


The number of jobs in Caldwell County is still growing, as shown by the more than 3,000 jobs available at the biannual job fair coming up on Thursday.


This is the first time in all 19 Caldwell is Hiring events that there are more than 3,000 positions posted for the job fair, said Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, which organizes the event. Those jobs aren’t the same ones offered at the last job fair, either, she said.


“We’ve added jobs every year,” Murray said. “They’re filling those jobs and opening new ones.”


Murray said the number of jobs businesses in the county are offering keeps growing.


“If they see they can fill jobs quickly, they’d be opening even more,” she said. “There are far more jobs available than what we see here.”


That’s why the essence of Caldwell is Hiring has changed, Murray said. When it first started, unemployment was at its height, and the EDC was looking for a way to help people find jobs. Now, the focus is finding more people for jobs, and finding people better jobs.


“The difference between when we started and now — it’s every bit as important, but before it was all about finding work for people when we started,” Murray said “Now it’s all about finding people for work.”


For people looking for jobs, now is a perfect time, she said. There is a wide variety to choose from — from furniture and manufacturing to advanced technology positions, health care, retail and office jobs. The pay is rising, too, Murray said.


“When you look at average wages, I can guarantee the average wages at this (job fair) are better than any of the ones we had in the past,” Murray said. “(Companies) are in growth mode, and they’re willing to pay for talent.”


The wide variety of industries with jobs available at Thursday’s job fair makes it an easy way to take advantage of the market, she said. About 50 employers will be there, including longtime local companies, temporary work agencies, several businesses in surrounding counties and new faces like the U.S. Census Bureau hiring for the 2020 census, the U.S. National Guard hiring for local positions and BioNutra Inc., a new pharmaceutical company that announced this month that it would open a plant in Lenoir.


Murray expects about 300-500 job seekers to show up, which is fewer than in the past, but gives locals a better chance at local jobs, she said.


“We want the folks who are here (in Caldwell) to get first crack at these opportunities,” Murray said.


Reporter Virginia Annable can be reached at 828-610-8724.

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