• Hundreds attend job fair at Caldwell Co.




    Hundreds of people showed up for a job fair at the Broyhill Civic Center.

    Organizers of hiring event expected a crowd of nearly 1,000 people, and 30 minutes before it started the line of job seekers stretched down the hallway and wrapped itself around the building.

    Job seeker Michelle Yount, who arrived an hour early, was not surprised there were so many people. "Because Caldwell ain't got no jobs here. Everybody is out of work," she said.

    The unemployment rate in Caldwell County is 12.9 percent, higher than the state average of 10.4 percent.

    More than 20 businesses from across the region are here and nearly all of them do have openings. "Mostly manufacturing jobs in our case, goods and upholstery operation," said Chris Waters from Hickory Chair.

    But not everybody will land a job on Thursday as the demand is too great and several of the positions are only part-time.

    "I'm hopeful. There's always hope," said job seeker Robert Parrish. "You've got to be able to be qualified for the job. But that's the thing. We don't know what jobs are open. There's a handful of them and not many of them open."

    Susie Shoemaker just lost her upholstery job last month but is still five years from retirement. She doesn't plan on giving up but knows it will be tough.

    "A lot of people are unemployed in this county," Shoemaker said. "It's going to be hard to find something. My hope is there is for good results today."

    A similar job event earlier this year did have some success and organizers told Channel 9 that more that 85 people landed a job that day.

    Last week, one of Caldwell County's largest employers, Caldwell Freight, laid off more than 300 people. The company is closing its shipping operations in Lenoir.

    Caldwell Freight is also facing a federal discrimination lawsuit that was filed in Statesville.

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