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Almost 400 jobs available between Wal-Mart, Lanier Islands hiring
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Gainesville’s jobless rate took a big drop in September, and with Lake Lanier Islands Resort and Wal-Mart hiring for new operations, it’s likely to continue falling.

Lanier Islands is planning to fill an additional 284 positions with two job fairs scheduled within the next week, Wal-Mart has opened a hiring center to fill up to 95 positions for one of the two Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores planned for Gainesville, and the Georgia Department of Labor has scheduled a Nov. 6 career expo in the city.

A Lanier Islands news release said Thursday the reason for the sudden rise in the number of employees is the impending debut of a new attraction as part of the resort’s continuing effort to serve as a year-round destination for Georgians and travelers alike. An announcement about the seasonal attraction is planned for next week.

“We’ve had job fairs for a couple of weeks now, and more to come in November if needed,” said Sandra Grindy, Lanier Islands director of Human Resources.

“What we need in our industry is friendly, smiling, willing-to-work faces,” she said.

Grindy said younger people, such as students, often apply for the seasonal positions, “but we’re not going to turn away anyone who’s willing to work.”

“Some (positions) may require more technical knowledge, such as we’ll have snow groomers and ice ring attendants, who would need to know how to skate.”

“We are currently seeking dependable, cheerful, service-oriented people to fill 239 seasonal openings, as well as an additional 45 permanent opportunities throughout the resort,” she said.

 The available seasonal positions include front gate admissions, food and beverage servers, bartenders, hostesses, concessions, cooks, cleanup, accounting auditors, supervisors, traffic attendants, EMTs and more.

To fill these positions, Lanier Islands is hosting job fairs on Saturday at Peachtree Pointe and Tuesday in the Plantation Ballroom at Legacy Lodge.

Those unable to attend the October job fairs are encouraged to go to or visit the Lanier Islands Human Resources department (across from Holiday Marina) in person. Applicants must be 16 or older. No prior experience is necessary for many of the seasonal positions.

“This is a great opportunity to get some cash for the holidays or to make a career, ” Grindy said.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has opened a temporary hiring center at 250 John W. Morrow Parkway, Suite 116, to fill up to 95 positions for a new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store in Gainesville.

Applications will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested applicants may also apply online at

According to store manager Johnny Harris, the store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates.

“This new type of store format will provide a convenient option for the community, saving them money so they can live better,” Harris said.

The majority of new associates will begin work in December to help prepare the store for its grand opening.

Also, the Labor Department will sponsor a career expo for veterans and other job seekers on Nov. 6 in Gainesville. The expo will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the department’s Gainesville Career Center, 2756 Atlanta Highway.

The expo will feature about 20 employers, educational institutions, and resource agencies that provide assistance to job seekers. The employers will be hiring or discussing future employment opportunities, while other organizations will provide educational and other resources.

Applicants must bring plenty of resumes and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available jobs. Attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately to improve their opportunities for jobs.

Those expected to participate in the expo are Advanced Disposal, Brenau University, Cardinal Health, Cargill, Gwinnett County Police Department, Home Goods Distribution Center, IMS Gear, Jackson EMC, Lake Lanier Islands, Life South Community Blood Centers, Mansfield Oil, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Regions Bank, Sapa Extrusions North America, Shasta Beverages, Telecommunications Technical Services, and The Villas at Canterfield.

For more information about the expo, contact the Labor Department’s Gainesville Career Center at 770-535-5484.

Also Thursday, the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate in Hall County fell to 6 percent, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 6.7 percent in August. It’s also an improvement from the 6.4 percent jobless rate from September 2013.

The Labor Department reported 644 fewer unemployed people in the Gainesville area in September, according to the federal government’s monthly household survey.

Though the rate decreased, Gainesville lost 100 jobs in September, as the total number of jobs dropped to 79,400 from 79,500 in August. The losses came mostly in trade, transportation and warehousing and with the federal government.

However, there was an over-the-year gain of 1,900 jobs, or 2.5 percent, from 77,500 in September 2013. The job gains came mostly in trade, transportation and warehousing, local government and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction.

The state reports 579 new claims for unemployment insurance filed in September, an increase of 50, or 9.5 percent, from 529 in August. Most of the increase in claims came in manufacturing. Over the year, claims were up 1.9 percent from the 568 filed in September 2013.

The unemployment rate in the Georgia Mountains region in September was 6.2 percent, down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 6.9 percent in August. The rate in September of last year was 6.6 percent.

Across Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.5 percent.

Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for September was 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August. It was 8 percent in September 2013.