People lined up at the Gainesville Civic Center, eagerly awaiting the chance to meet their next potential boss or apply on-site for a position during the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s annual job fair and career expo on Wednesday, March 20.
More than 70 different local companies, businesses and organizations — a majority of which were hiring — welcomed a consistent flow of people to their booths.
Whether attendees were already employed and looking at their options, or unemployed and needing a job, the event gave them a direction.
“I saw the people that were listed and I thought it would be interesting to come out and see what information I can gather, and possibly get a job,” Samantha Collins said. “So far, I’m really impressed with Foundation Food Group and VDL (Industries).”
As their sixth year at the job fair, the King’s Hawaiian staff shared not only their “aloha spirit,” but the joys of the company’s sweet fluffy rolls.
“If your mom was baking bread at home and you walked in the door and smelled it, that’s what it’s like to come into work everyday,” Dave Phillips, King’s Hawaiin human resources manager said. “Seriously, why it’s a great place to work is because the culture of the company is wonderful. It starts with the owner of the company and goes all the way down to the workers on the lines.”
Phillips said King’s Hawaiin is currently seeking to fill manufacturing supervisors, machine operators and entry level positions.
Many other employers had an array of jobs open including Chattahoochee Country Club, Lanier Village Estates, Gainco, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and Zebra Technologies Corporation.
Marco Valeriano and Latanya Sheppard said there’s more than meets the eye when working at McDonald’s.
The two worked their way up the ladder at the fast-food business since they were 16, and now Valeriano is the director of operations and Sheppard serves as the area supervisor at four different McDonald's locations in Hall County.
“People think McDonald’s they automatically assume it’s flipping burgers. There are so many other layers to McDonald’s other than burgers,” Sheppard said. “We’re running multimillion-dollar businesses. It takes a special person to do that.”
Valeriano and Sheppard said McDonald’s offers a great opportunity for young people looking for a starter job because of its incentives.
The company provides tuition assistance for those seeking a college degree, free English programs for those learning it as a second language and a no-cost high school completion program.
CSS Image Group, a company that specializes in installing architectural cladding, sought out people to apply for installer, crew leader, project manager and other positions.
Grant Wood, the company’s floor manager, said CSS Image Group will take those with no experience in the industry and train them.
“It’s a safe work environment, but we do try to have a good time while we’re getting the job done,” Wood said. “It’s family oriented in the way we work together and how the other employees know each other.”
Parked outside of the Civic Center, the Career Coach from WorkSource Georgia Mountains packed itself with people seeking assistance with their resumes.
Micah Thomas, who works at WorkSource, buzzed around the van’s computers helping around 19 people with their resumes within the first hour of the event.
Amanda Lewis, lead organizer of the job fair, said overall most employers seemed happy with the attendance, many of which collected a list of names for interviews.
“I think we had a great turnout,” Lewis said. “We’ve had a steady flow of people since we opened the doors.”