LAURINBURG — Scotland County has 910 residents actively looking for work, and St. Andrews University and NC Works have teamed up to assist them in those efforts.
The two entities will hold a job fair Thursday at St. Andrews University’s Belk Center at 300 Belk Circle.
The morning portion of the fair takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. and is exclusively for St. Andrews Students and alumni, but the event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More than 35 local and national companies will be taking applications for positions from general laborers to skilled positions.
NC Works — formerly the Employment Security Commission — hosts hiring events, in part, to remind corporations not to overlook local residents when hiring.
“We do it especially for employers so they can see what talent is available in our area. A lot of time they lose sight of the talent that we have locally and look outside the area,” said Regina Smalls of NC Works in Laurinburg.
The latest figures from the N.C. Department of Commerce say unemployment in Scotland County for December was 8 percent — the third highest in the state. New statewide jobless figures will be released on Monday.
Businesses will set up booths and tables to take resumes and applications and allow potential employees to learn what a company does and give a brief overview of what they have to offer an employer.
“It gives the citizens and opportunity to do a 60-second sell, or an elevator pitch to a business,” Smalls said.
Annette Reed teaches a class at St. Andrews on how to find a job and how to conduct oneself during an interview says the elevator pitch is a good way for her student’s or anyone to network, find a job or find internships.
“An elevator pitch is a personal selling pitch − who you are, your goals and career interest, how you have demonstrated your interest and experience, why you are qualified and a question or request for assistance,” Reed said. “That will give them a contact person. You might not get a job right away, but that might person hear of something open later and give the young man they met on the elevator a call.”
Smalls recommends the following for the elevator pitch and for job interviews even if it is a job in a fast food restaurant: Before the job fair research the employers that are attending; have a firm handshake; speak with confidence and enthusiasm; be polite and courteous; have an error free resume on hand; and make a good appearance − be clean and neat and have your hair done.
“If you don’t have something to wear or don’t have the money for something new, go to Church Community Services or the Helping Hand and get black skirt or slacks or kakis and a nice shirt and keep that in your closet for interview clothes,” Smalls said.
Smalls also suggests coming up with a question to ask about the company to end an elevator pitch. It shows the company your interest and that you’ve done your research.
The NC Works mobile unit will be on hand to allow employers to conduct in depth interviews and allow job seekers to use the unit’s computers to apply for jobs online.
NC Works currently has 341 jobs listed for Scotland County and the surrounding area. Many of those employers will be at the job fair looking to fill positions in education, social work, healthcare, management and industrial maintenance and electricians.
“We have many maintenance positions open. There is a high demand in the local area for maintenance, electricians and electronics,” Smalls said.
The list of companies contains a wide range of employers from merchants to industry including: North Carolina Department of Public Safety, State Employees Credit Union , Lowe’s Primary Health Choice, Davita Dialysis, Waffle House and Walgreens.
For those looking for employment with law enforcement Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, Scotland Department of Corrections, and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff Department will also be recruiting candidates.
City and county government agencies will also be represented. The city of Laurinburg, Scotland County Parks & Recreation and Scotland County DSS will be taking applications.
Local companies that will be recruiting are: Cascades Tissue, Railroad Friction, Mountaire Farms, FCC, Edwards Wood Products, NSG Group/Pilkington, Smithfield Food-Hog Production, Service Thread, Carolina Container/Caro Con, Campbell’s Soup, Lumber River EMC, M-W Electrical Construction, Perdue and Elkay Manufacturing.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169