November 15, 2012

Career Expo seeks to connect skilled workers, businesses

Submitted by the Georgia Department of Labor

— The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is inviting northwest Georgia businesses that are looking to fill current or future positions to participate in the Dalton Career Expo next month as a way to make connections with skilled, available workers.

The career expo is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 5, from noon to 5 p.m. at the trade center. It is a follow-up to the three-day Job Readiness and Talent Attraction held recently in which more than 500 job seekers worked with GDOL staff to create new resumes and participated in  workshops aimed at improving their interview skills, marketing themselves and using social media in their job search.

“We have a very unique situation in northwest Georgia,” Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. “Even though we know that the Greater Dalton area has one of the higher unemployment rates in the state, we are also aware that there are a number of businesses in the area who have vacant positions to fill.

 “The three-day talent attraction gave us a snapshot of the available workforce in the northwest Georgia area, and it gave us a chance to work with these job seekers one-on-one.  The upcoming Dalton Career Expo is an excellent opportunity for businesses to see the talent options in the area, connect with these available workers, and meet their staffing needs. We feel like this is a win-win situation for Dalton area businesses and job seekers.”

Business representatives will spend the first hour of the expo meeting with job seekers who attended the Talent Attraction and received an early-bird admission ticket. The expo will be open to everyone else at 1 p.m.

GDOL is expecting more than 60 area businesses to attend the expo. The businesses will be those with current openings or those expected to hire in the near future. Employers will be able to conduct on-site job interviews so job seekers are reminded to dress professionally for the event and be prepared to present copies of their resumes or work history. There will also be a computer area for job seekers to work on their resumes or complete online applications. An early-bird workshop aimed at helping job seekers market themselves at a career expo is also being planned for that day.

“Building on the tremendous success of our recent job readiness event, which was made possible by a truly collaborative partnership between many stakeholders, we now look forward to and are planning our Dec. 5 Dalton Career Expo,” said Brian Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. “We are committed to assisting our citizens in finding employment and assisting our businesses in finding well-qualified employees.”

Beaulieu Group, a major flooring company in Dalton, is one of the area businesses already committed to take part in the expo.

“It’s been an honor working with the Georgia Department of Labor in preparing for this event,” said Kristi Hankins, manager of training and development with Beaulieu. “Supporting our community is what we’re all about at Beaulieu. Whitfield and Murray counties have some of the most talented and skilled people in the floorcovering industry.”

The GDOL is working with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce-Joint Development Authority, city of Dalton, Whitfield County government, Chatsworth-Murray County Chamber of Commerce and members of the Murray-Whitfield faith community in the effort to match job seekers with available jobs.

Business representatives interested in participating in the Dalton Career Expo should contact Jackie Goolsby at the Dalton Career Center at (706) 272-2225 or by email at Jackie.goolsby@gdol.ga.gov.

Also, any businesses that are unable to participate in the career expo, but have jobs available, should contact Goolsby. The GDOL is hosting a career connections corner, and will have staff available to work booths and ensure all job vacancies are made available to the job seekers.