11-1-2019 – Despite rain, hundreds come for jobs

Posted on: November 1st, 2019 by admin


November 1, 2019


By Virginia Annable


Nov 01, 2019 12:00 AM

Despite heavy rain and wind, Julie Rook and several hundred other people made their way to the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir Thursday morning to hunt for a job.


In a bright red raincoat still damp with rain, Hook meandered a maze of tables where 50 employers were set up in the ballroom of the civic center. She came from Hickory in search of permanent employment, and she thought the annual Caldwell is Hiring job fair seemed like her best chance to find it.


“I’ve been in temp services for years, and they’re just that — temporary,” Hook said.


It was her first time at a job fair, and the number of employers all in one place was more than convenient, she said. With so many companies in one place, she learned about jobs she had no idea were available, she said.


“There’s a lot of opportunities I wasn’t even aware of until I came here,” Hook said.


Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, encourages the job seekers who come to the fair to take advantage of the wealth of employers in one place. When they come in, she speaks with small groups of applicants and encourages them to approach as many companies as they can.


“Be adventurous today,” she said to one group. “How long would it take you to see 50 employers on your own? Months. So go talk to them today.”


The employers represent thousands of available jobs, she said.


While only about 370 people came to Caldwell is Hiring, it was more than Murray expected because of the poor weather and the low unemployment rate – 3.7 percent in Caldwell County as of September and 3.3 percent in the larger Hickory region.


“It’s been a good day,” Murray said. “People just keep trickling in.”


That there were fewer people than in past Caldwell is Hiring events talking to the employers gave people like Caroline Cardwell of Granite Falls time to give a good impression to potential employers, she said.


“It’s a good way to put a face to yourself so you’re more than just a piece of paper,” she said.


Cardwell, in search of an administrative position, spoke with several employers and said she was able to take the time to learn about the companies and find which ones fit her best.


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


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