4/10/2017 – Caldwell is Hiring adapts to changing jobs climate

Posted on: April 10th, 2017 by admin


April 10, 2017


Less than seven years after the first Caldwell is Hiring, the needs that organizers are trying to meet have changed a great deal.


In late 2010, with unemployment barely down from a peak of 17 percent, they just wanted to provide some hope to thousands of people who were unemployed and despaired of being able to find another job, Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray said.


“We begged employers to come,” Murray said, and got about 15, who then were faced with an overflow crowd of people who parked up and down U.S. 321 near the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.


But in recent years, those attending are not just looking for a job – any job.


“You have people looking for the better job now,” Murray said, and more employers are looking for workers than will fit in the civic center.


The next Caldwell is Hiring is Thursday, May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the civic center. Murray expects that she once again will have to turn some employers away. There is room for 50.


The most recent state report said that Caldwell County’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, the lowest since 2001, and the number of people with jobs has been gradually rising for the past several years. A state report late last year said that the median household income had risen 11 percent in one year, the best total in the state.


“We have hit a lot of marks a lot sooner than I would have thought,” Murray said. “We have well surpassed bouncing back and are well on the way to growing and competing again.”


Given the economic momentum, some might wonder why the EDC keeps organizing the hiring event.


“We said we would do it as long as it met a need,” Murray said, and though the needs have changed, there is still a need.


For employers, the need is to find qualified workers in an economy that calls for more skills and makes those workers harder to find. For workers, the need often is to find a better-paying job than they already have.


Murray said she expects the 50 employers who will fit into this Caldwell is Hiring will have more than 2,000 jobs available.


As employers sign up, the EDC is posting available jobs on its website – caldwelledc.org – and on the Facebook page for Caldwell is Hiring.


By Guy Lucas, (Lenoir) News-Topic



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