GTCC Unites Students, Employees at Jobs Fair
Competitive options abound even during tough economic times
By Forrest Malloy President/Editor-in-Chief Job openings have increased dramatically during the past year, leaving employers scrambling to fill vacancies. But for some job-seekers, positions that offer attractive pay and benefits can still be hard to find. GTCC recently tried to bridge the gap between employers and employees with its Spring Jobs Fair.
Held March 23 on the Jamestown Campus, the event featured 54 employers from every sector of the business world. Opportunities ranged from military recruitment and paid internships to engineers, graphic designers, and in-home healthcare workers. Many of the companies were ready and eager to have students and alumni fill out applications.
Some of the companies already have connections to the GTCC community. Clearview Endoscopy Sales and Services was started by GTCC alumni Crystal DeSienna and her husband Anthony, who were excited about possibly hiring GTCC students and growing their small business. The company, which fixes broken medical equipment such as endoscopy scopes, is currently looking for technicians as well as shipping and receiving clerks. As with many of the employers present, Clearview is offering a benefits package to entice prospective employees. Other companies have worked with GTCC faculty to align courses to meet workforce needs and expectations. A representative of Focke & Co. said the company has had instructors tour its facility and make additions to their curricula. A global manufacturer of packaging machines, Focke & Co. is looking to fill a variety of positions such as CNC Machinists, Mechatronic Field Service Technicians, and Business Development Assistants.
For some employers, the Jobs Fair's Jamestown Campus location meant being cut off from the students they were most likely to recruit. Borum, Wade, and Associates, P.A., a company of engineers, surveyors, and planners, use specialized tools and programs, and engineering students often are their best candidates. GTCC's engineering students and faculty, however, can usually be found on one of GTCC's other campuses.
In response, some employers suggested possibly hosting multiple fairs on multiple campuses or hosting major/field-specific job fairs. An art-and-graphic design career fair, for instance, could connect artistically inclined students to companies like The Decal Source, which is seeking car decal designers.
The Job Fair came at a time during which many were feeling the sting of higher prices. As the New York Times notes, “The Consumer Price Index rose by 7.9 percent through February, the fastest pace of annual inflation in 40 years.” Rent, food, and gas prices have been on the rise, the latter influenced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As of March 23, gasoline averaged $4.23 per gallon nationally according to the American Automobile Association, a steep increase from the $2.90 per gallon national average just one year ago.
The higher cost to fill up may lead to difficult decisions for job seekers who drive to work. Some employers, such as Servant's Heart, provide transportation for their workers. Servant’s Heart works with adults with disabilities by operating “independent, supervised, and companion living settings” to assist individuals in keeping their independence as much as possible.
Among the other industries represented were
Education. Primrose Schools, a daycare/preschool for infants, toddlers, and school-age children, used a stand of puppets to attract potential employees. The school’s representative said the puppets were a major part of their curriculum and used to introduce new units of learning. Primrose is looking for early childhood teachers as well as assistants.
Health Careers. Both Servant's Heart and Supreme Health Systems were looking for applicants for positions that offer paid training and require only a high school diploma or GED. Supreme Health Systems offers in-home health services, and would require some travel. Both health care companies stressed they wanted individuals who were caring, compassionate, and exhibited a good work ethic.
Construction sales and service. Atlantic Coast Toyotalift is a dealer of material handling and construction equipment. They sell, service, and rent equipment. While they have many locations, employees are not asked to travel. Technician, customer service, and sales associate positions are available.
A complete list of participating employers can be found here.