Job Fair Draws Crowd to Hartwell

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Some job seekers may soon find themselves collecting a paycheck instead of unemployment after Monday’s Hart County Career Expo.

Hundreds of people looking for work traveled from around northeast Georgia and upstate South Carolina Monday to Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, resumes in hand, hoping to land a job with one of the more than 20 employers represented.

One of those job seekers was Claudia Goltermine.

Up until January, Goltermine owned her own business in Hartwell. Now, she says she is just struggling to get by.

Goltermine said she is looking for anything that would bring in a paycheck.

“I’ll take anything. I’ve had business experience, including retail from bottom to top. I could fit in anywhere,” she said.

Sponsored by the Hart County Industrial Building Authority and the Toccoa Career Center, about 25 employers were on hand ready to interview and hire.

Kathy Smith with the Toccoa Career Center said most of the companies were hiring.

“We’ve had a lot of good customers coming through, dressed nice with resumes and ready to go to work,” said Career Center Director Kathy Smith.

Smith said most employers who were hiring were looking for people with technical experience and production experience.

One of those companies was Westwind Incorporated, which owns a number of Burger King restaurants in the region.

Westwind Incorporated District Supervisor Debbie Smith said they were looking to fill a number of positions Monday.

“We’re looking for everything from team members, to shift managers, to general managers,” she said. “We need people with a great attitude who are hard working.”

The Gwinnett County Police Department was also on hand and hiring Monday.

Sargeant James Ashe is Head of Recruiting for Gwinnett County Police.

With a starting salary of $35,000, Ashe said they had a lot of people stopping by to find out how to apply.

“We’re recruiting full-time for police officers and dispatchers,” he said. “We have a lot of applications, but we have a very select few who can make it through the process. We’ve had a lot of interest but we require you go online to make your application.”

Meanwhile, The Georgia Department of Labor will sponsor a job expo for veterans and other job seekers May 9 in Athens at VFW Post 2872. According to the Department of Labor, that event will focus primarily on helping active-duty military personnel, retirees, National Guard and reserve units, and their family members, but it will also be open to the general public.