5/8/2018 – Hundreds turn out for 16th Caldwell is Hiring event

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 by admin


May 8, 2018


By Virginia Annable
(Lenoir) News-Topic


Normally, Amanda Hope is the one asking job applicants about their qualifications, but at Caldwell is Hiring, the tides were turned.


“I’m used to filling jobs but now I find myself here looking for one,” said Hope, formerly an executive recruiter.


Hope, along with hundreds of other people searching for their next job, descended on the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center, where 54 employers met with applicants for about 2,300 jobs.


Like many others there, Hope went looking for a specific position.


“I’m looking for my next career opportunity, hopefully as a local recruiter,” she said.


It’s a growing trend for people to come looking for a specific job rather than just any job they can find, which was the case when the event first started in 2010, said Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray, the organizer of the biannual event.


“Every time we do this we have more people who come for a specific reason,” Murray said. “I think our employers are happier because they’re getting people who are really interested in their company.”


Deborah Cramblit spent her morning searching for a warehouse position. On the second floor of the civic center she meandered through the maze of plastic tables topped with colorful tablecloths, bowls of goodies and stacks of job information and applications.


As she stood at the center of the room, looking at a map and the tables surrounding her, Jimmy Griffith, an event staff member, came to the rescue. He pointed out each employer who had warehouse positions open, and suggested Cramblit look in another room as well.


“If you sell your skills right, you’re one of about 400 people here today, and there are 2,300 jobs, so your chances are good,” Griffith said. “You’re going to kill it.”


Cramblit said approaching the employers could be a little nerve wracking, but rewarding.


“I’m here to get a job, so I’m just going for it,” she said.


Because there is such a difference in the number of jobs and people looking for jobs, Murray said now is the time to look for a job that’s a little above your training.


“The companies are going to do the training as an onboarding process right now, but in a new years you’re going to have to already have that training,” Murray said.


The event was more sparsely attended than in the past – about 470 people came throughout the day, including buses of high school students — but with a low unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in Caldwell County, Murray said that’s to be expected, and it’s a reflection of the county’s growth since the recession.


“There has been no other single event as critical to the resurgence of our economy as Caldwell Is Hiring. It has definitely played a role in the steady decline of unemployment in Caldwell. And all of the participating employers over eight years can take credit. They didn’t lose faith in the tough times and now they are growing, some busting at the seams,” she said. “It has been amazing to watch it help change the direction of our economy and the direction of many of the lives of those hired at Caldwell Is Hiring.”


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