10/26/2017 – Caldwell is Hiring event features solid turnout

Posted on: October 26th, 2017 by admin


October 26, 2017


By Virginia Annable
(Lenoir) News-Topic


Faith Tesner is on the job hunt – a search that brought her to the 15th Caldwell is Hiring at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.


She used to work at her family’s business in Asheville, a small gas station and shop. Her grandparents passed it to her parents, and her parents passed it to her. Then tragedy struck when the store burned to the ground, and Tesner was left to move closer to family in Alexander County and search for a job – any job – in the area.


“I’m busting my tail looking for a job today,” Tesner said.


Any one of the 2,500 jobs with the 50 employers at the job event would work for her, Tesner said, but others searching with her had a more specific vision.


Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray, the organizer behind the biannual event, said she noticed more people searching for jobs that would be an improvement over current jobs.


“It really feels like we’re getting better quality people … interested in specific jobs,” Murray said.


Among the 50 companies attending were Exela Pharma Sciences, Google, JBS USA, Caldwell UNC Health Care, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and other manufacturers, retailers, and public safety offices in five different counties, Murray said.


This time around, the EDC advertised the jobs by categories, and when applicants came in for orientation, Murray guided them toward where they should look for specific jobs they were interested in.


With the local unemployment rate approaching 4 percent, Murray said, the focus of the job fair has shifted from getting people better jobs and simply letting people know what’s out there. That being said, Murray added she was sure how many people would attend due to the lower unemployment rate.


“It’s kind of like the party you invite everybody to come to and you don’t know who will come,” Murray said.


Two hours into the event, Murray estimated about 400 or more people would attend.


Caldwell County Commissioner Jeff Branch was on hand to help guide people to jobs they might like and made sure it went smoothly. He said turnout for the event was better than he expected.


“It’s good to see this many people showing up … and it’s a lot of people, I think, looking for better jobs,” Branch said.


One was Amanda Marshall, recent graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University who currently has a job.


“Where I am right now, it’s not right for me … I have a bachelor’s in history. I know I won’t find something directly related to that but maybe something closer to it than I am now,” Marshall said.


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