Cloudland Elementary holds job fair

Published 9:06 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Looking to help individuals get connected with employers, Cloudland Elementary hosted its first ever job fair Monday evening.

And school counselor Brandon Young, who spearheaded the event, said he wishes more people would have shown up and took advantage of the opportunity.

“We have seen about 50 people,” said Young about an hour into the two-hour event. “We would have liked to have seen more. It is a starting place. We would love to have had them wrapped around the sidewalk trying to get in. But you know, you have to start somewhere. I think parents are frightened. I think some of them believe they have to have a resume.

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“They don’t realize we just wanted them to show up and hear about the opportunities they have in their community,” added Young.

Young said, however, that some people who showed up did find employment.

“We have folks in there hiring on the spot,” said Young. “We have had some finding employment. We have one gentleman who has an interview tomorrow with New River Hardwoods. Hopefully, he will start by the end of the week. It’s great to get to see folks getting employment and the help they need.”

There were roughly 40 tables set up with various resources and employers on hand to help people find work. One of those groups were the @Work Personnel Services which is based out of the Tri-Cities.

“There are plenty of jobs in this area,” said a representative with @Work. “There are a lot of companies that are hiring. It is just that people are not showing up for the jobs. If someone says they cannot find a job, it is probably that you are not looking or you are looking for something impossible.”

Coming across state lines looking for employees was the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Not too far from Roan Mountain is the Avery/Mitchell Correctional Institute and the Craggy Correctional Center, both of which is always looking for help.

“We have a statewide need for correctional officers,” said a representative with the NCDPS. “We need nurses and psychologists. We have more than that though. You have maintenance, case managers, food service officers, doctors, dental hygienist, and social workers. A lot of people don’t realize all of the things we have to offer.”

The job fair was held after Young uncovered that 24 percent of chronically absent students at Cloudland Elementary were living in poverty. And the low turnout Monday night doesn’t have Young discouraged.

“We would love to do this next year,” said Young. “I think you start somewhere, and hopefully, next year we will see more people show up.”