Career fairs paint brighter future for local job market
by Matt Shinall
Oct 06, 2010 | 3060 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With announcements coming down the pipe of expansions and new enterprise, Toyo Tires and newcomer Vista Metals have recently partnered with the Georgia Department of Labor in job recruitment, adding hope for a local recovery.

Two job fairs are slated for the coming weeks. The first will take place Saturday for Vista Metals coming into Adairsville, followed by a Veterans Career Fair next week hosted by the American Legion.

GDOL announced Monday the Vista Metals career fair will be held Saturday at the Cartersville Career Center, 19 Felton Place, from 9 a.m. to noon. Fifty vacancies will be filled at Vista Metals for production personnel in specialty aluminum products.

Having worked with Vista Metals since the early stages of their search for a location, Melinda Lemmon, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development, commented on the company's strength and character, anticipating another solid employer emerging in Bartow County.

"By all accounts, they are a quality company and I think it will be a good complement to the existing industry base of Bartow County," Lemmon said. "Manufacturing and companies like this in manufacturing do have a significant impact on the economy of Bartow County in several ways, not just in generating payroll dollars but also in their purchase of utilities and their use of local suppliers for their raw materials, service needs and so on, but also, of course, impact to the tax base."

Located in Fontana, Calif., the addition of a Georgia facility by Vista Metals has been highly anticipated for their economic impact on the area. In addition to the initial hiring of 50 employees, Vista Metals is expected to become the city of Adairsville's single largest consumer of natural gas.

"It will certainly have a significant economic impact for both Adairsville and Bartow County. We are appreciative they selected our community," Lemmon said. "Their search for a location was extensive. We're appreciative that, at the end of the day, they found the perfect building in Adairsville, Bartow County, for their Georgia operations. From my understanding, they are actually ahead of schedule in implementation of the equipment and getting the business operational. We are very encouraged by that and extremely encouraged that they are doing a job fair with the Department of Labor and starting to hire people."

The GDOL announcement, as printed in the Tuesday edition of The Daily Tribune News, stated that the company is looking for general helpers and shift foremen to perform duties in casting, cutting and packaging of its product line. Salaries will start at $11.50 an hour with structured increases based on job classification, skill, merit and length of service with the company.

Those interested are invited to come to the labor department's Cartersville career center, prior to the career fair, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for further referral instructions. Applicants must be 18 years or older and hold a high school diploma or General Educational Development certificate. Candidates with experience in aluminum smelting are preferred as well as other manufacturing skills, including forklift operation, saws, lathes and shipping and receiving.

The latter career fair, taking place Thursday, Oct. 14, will aim efforts at military veterans but is open to the general public. Hosted by the Carl Boyd 42 Department of Georgia American Legion, the event will take place at their facility on Martin Luther King Drive in Cartersville behind Hobby Lobby. Lasting from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the fair is expected to include about 20 employers, including Vista Metals and Toyo Tires, although participating employers are not yet confirmed. The event takes place about once a year, said Post Commander Ken Temples, adding that last year's fair included Shaw and Georgia Power.

"It's open to everybody, anybody looking for a job, but we like to make sure the veterans can come to it also," Temples said, adding that veterans offer specific qualities forged from their experience. "They're dedicated, they're definitely disciplined if they're coming out of the military. They know the importance of showing up for work everyday and on time. These men and women are really looking for a job, like everyone else. The economy, as you know, is in bad shape, so hopefully they can find a place here in Cartersville and Bartow County to go to work."

Toyo Tires' announcement of 200 new hires came last month to accommodate an ongoing expansion project began last year. Although a loss of more than 200 jobs was announced in June with the closure of Mohawk Carpets' Cartersville spun yarn facility, more good news is expected in the near future.

Lemmon anticipates four more major announcements before the end of the year, two of which are current employers with planned expansions while two others will be incoming industry.

"I think overall, 2010 will be a fairly good year for Bartow County," she said. "I know we've had our challenges with the closing of Mohawk being one of the largest manufacturing closures we've had in a while besides Trinity -- again, seeing job fairs is encouraging to me after those challenging announcements too."