Caldwell is Hiring draws hundreds for most diverse job set yet

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:50 AM

Hundreds of people made their way through the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center Thursday for the Caldwell is Hiring job fair, sifting through the hundreds of available jobs – the most diverse grouping for the event since it started in 2010.

Sponsored by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, Thursday’s Caldwell is Hiring featured 24 local employers with more than 350 job openings, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the EDC.

About 500 job seekers made their way through the rounds by the end of the day, Murray said.

Among those was Alicia Moretz, who came after work to look for a new job because the one she has now offers no upward mobility. She said she wants a place that will reward her hard work with a promotion – or two.

“It (Caldwell is Hiring) gave me a lot of things to look into and a lot of opportunities,” Moretz said, adding that she had spoken with all of the employers at the event, save two or three.

The available jobs encompassed a wide array of skills and industries, featuring well-established Caldwell enterprises such as Bernhardt Furniture Co. and newcomers to the county such as Carolina Locust Inc., a wood products manufacturer that hasn't yet set up its local operation.

Jobs from administrative assistants to upholsterers to sawmill operators to soil and water conservationist were all available.

Matt Kemo, forester and log buyer for Carolina Locust, was the man behind the company’s table, and with an hour still left on the clock he had spoken with 50 applicants.

Carolina Locust is still looking for a location in the county, but by late summer Kemo hopes to be hiring. The company came to the county in part because of the available workforce with woodworking skills who lost jobs in the shrinking of the furniture industry. The company is looking for sawmill operators, foremen, craftsmen and mechanics, and Kemo said he had found some promising applicants.

Quintin Thomas made his way to nearly every employer there Thursday. Thomas recently left college and is hoping to re-enroll but in the meantime needs to find a job to help foot the bill.

“It’s looking good,” Thomas said. “I’m putting a good face on and putting my name out there.”

Teresa Lowman, human resources manager for Exela Pharma Sciences, was the face behind the table for the pharmaceutical company, which is looking to fill a number of positions, including research assistants, manufacturing specialists and an analytical chemist. Lowman said more than 100 people had asked about positions with the company and that Exela was finding some potential hires among them.

Both Lowman and Kemo said their companies will review resumes and see who they want to call back to get the ball rolling on the hiring process.