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Editorial: Job hunters, take note

Sometimes economic development involves recruiting industry; sometimes it means expanding existing businesses. And sometimes — like now — simply helping people fill jobs already available is a powerful form of economic development.

A community’s best resource, after all, is its people.

That may be why Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks Economic Development, is enthusiastic about activities coming up in the next couple of weeks. He has seen a big push lately to make sure people who need jobs the most get them. The city is collaborating with schools, colleges, community activists  and others to focus on connecting people with the jobs they need and deserve — and which local businesses are eager to fill.

Organizers found employers who have more than 300 job openings and invited them to a job fair to be held Sept. 1 at the Salisbury Civic Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. But to make the job fair really successful, organizers decided to help potential applicants brush up on job-seeking skills first. It would be a shame for people in desperate need of jobs to miss an opportunity because they didn’t know how to put together a resumé or how to face a job interview with confidence but not cockiness.

Job seekers can pick up those skills and more at a Community Employment Workshop to be held at Miller Recreation Center from noon to 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Experts will help people learn about writing resumés, presenting themselves well in interviews and other skills they’ll need to land a job.

Kudos to all involved for pulling together and taking resources into city neighborhoods to reach people where they are. From free babysitting to transit rides, organizers are bending over backwards to help as many people as possible take advantage of this event. Instead of talking about the need for jobs, these organizers are taking constructive action, finding the jobs and the jobless and bringing them together.

Also encouraging is an Aldi job fair set Aug. 26 in Salisbury. This is a regional search for manager trainees. To be invited to participate, candidates have to complete an online survey at aldi.questionpro.com to see if they meet qualifications for the positions. Van Geons says the fact that Aldi chose Salisbury as the location for this higher-level job fair shows the company has confidence the local workforce will produce worthy candidates.

Instead of developing a shopping center or factory, these events are designed to develop workers. If more than 300 people go from jobless to employed, that’s economic development, all right — bona fide.

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