Community organizations bring 40 employers together for job fair

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY — Seven community organizations worked together to host a community job fair on Tuesday.

The Centralina Workforce Development Board, the NCWorks Career Center-Rowan, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the city of Salisbury, Rowan-Salisbury School System, RowanWorks Economic Development and Jobs for Life hosted a community job fair at the Salisbury Civic Center.

Dozens of people spoke to the 40 different employers at the event, including FedEx, Novant Health, Henkel, Gordon Foods, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Department of Prisons and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

This is the second year for the community-sponsored fair, said Brianna Price, human resources analyst for Salisbury.

“There was a need in the community,” Price said.

Price said attendees got a chance to ask questions during an employee panel before the fair. Because of the informal setting, attendees were able to ask questions that they might not have felt comfortable asking employers during an interview, Price said.

Salisbury Transit provided free rides to the Civic Center for those who presented flyers for the event.

Price said organizers realized transportation can be an issue for some citizens.

“We don’t want that to stop people from coming,” she said.

Free transportation from Salisbury Transit was also provided to get people to the workshops at the NCWorks Career Center last week. Debbie Davis, center leader, said people were able to get help with their resumes, tips on how to be successful at a job fair and tips for interviews and professional attire.

Jobs for Life hosted a session about what job seekers can bring to any job, and a counselor from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College also hosted a session, Davis said.

Price said about 42 people attended the workshops. Those who attended the workshops were able to enter the job fair 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the public.

Davis said talking to employers face to face gives potential employees a better chance.

“I hope folks get a lot of good leads for interviews,” she said, adding that she hoped the companies could find the employees they were looking for.

Kendra Sharp, assistant director of Career and Professional Development at Livingstone College, brought Livingstone College students to the fair.

Darius Welch, a senior graduating in May, said he was looking for a job for after graduation.

“A lot of the companies here were very informational,” he said.

Welch has a YouTube channel called Yard Talk 101 that promotes historically black colleges and universities. He said he was able to get advice from the business representatives at the fair.

“It was a networking ground for me,” he said.

Tabitha, who did not want to give her last name, said she liked the fair because she was able to ask questions and meet people, instead of just submitting a resume online.

“When you come here, there’s personal contact,” she said.

Brittney Shupe, another attendee, said she was having trouble finding a job. She said some of the businesses referred her to online applications.

“Some people don’t have computers,” she said.

She said she wanted the fair to bring in more businesses that were open to hiring people with criminal backgrounds.

Attendee Rose, who did not want to give her last name, said she retired from her job after 15 years and was looking for a change of pace. She said there were many job opportunities at the fair and she was able to gather brochures and contact information.

Price said the organizers hope to continue the fair and increase both employer and participant attendance.

“We’re hoping each year that it does increase and the word does spread,” she said.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.