Caldwell County is hiring (and so is Google)
Two factors make the sixth annual "Caldwell is Hiring" event, where a number of employers will interview prospective employees, stand out from those in the past: the presence of Google, and looming changes in the state rules for unemployment insurance.
About 12 to 20 employers are expected to be represented at the "Caldwell is Hiring" event on April 4 at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.
Google's name stands out as a participant. The company needs 10 to 12 people for temporary operations assembly work, said Enoch Moellerl, Google’s data center operations manager, after a meeting Tuesday of the Economic Development Commission. The jobs are expected to last six to 12 months.
Last year about 1,700 people came to "Caldwell is Hiring" to look for jobs, far more than expected. EDC officials say they are uncertain how the attendance might be affected by changes in unemployment benefits scheduled to take effect July 1.
Those who sign up for unemployment benefits after July 1 will receive them for only 12 to 20 weeks, instead of 26 weeks, and the maximum weekly benefit will be cut from $535 to $350. Proponents of the cuts, signed into law Feb. 19, said they were needed in part to pay back $2.5 billion owed by the state to the federal government for the state's surge in jobless benefits when the Great Recession started. The surge exceeded what the state had available to meet its obligations for benefits, so it borrowed money from the federal government.
Elaine Lockhart, an EDC board member, said that while planners aren't sure, they don't expect the benefits change will be a major factor in attendance. The number of employers and jobs being offered "is what brings them in,” she said.