UNION — Job-seekers interested in getting a jump on possibly getting a job through the Union County Industry Job Fair are being encouraged to attend one of two Preferred Pass workshops this Friday.
The Union County Industry Job Fair will be held from 2-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6 at the Union County Advanced Technology Center. The job fair, which is sponsored by the Advanced Technology Center, SCWorks, and the Union County Economic Development Board, will be different from other job fairs in that it is designed to provide on-site interview opportunities between job-seekers and representatives of the companies that will be participating.
To encourage job-seekers to attend the job fair, the event’s sponsors are offering a number of services designed not only to promote attendance, but also to help prepare those who attend to maximize their chances of getting a job.
The latest of these services are two “Preferred Pass” workshops that will be held at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday at the SCWorks office, 103 W Main St., Union.
SCWorks Center Manager Katherine Pendergrass is encouraging job-seekers to attend the workshops which will not only help prepare them for the job fair, but enable them to be admitted to the fair an hour earlier. She said that, except for veterans, no one other than Preferred Pass holders will be admitted before 2 p.m. when the doors are opened to the general public.
“The Preferred Pass will allow you entrance into the job fair an hour earlier, along with veterans, before anyone else,” Pendergrass said. “In this workshop you will be given extra pointers on how to make a great impression on prospective employers.”
Pendergrass added that having a Preferred Pass can help a job-seeker make a very positive impression on a potential employer.
“In attending this session, it lets employers know you’ve gone the extra mile to be there,” Pendergrass said. “We’ve had job fairs in Spartanburg and Gaffney, and in each case employers have said how impressed they were with the Preferred Pass attendees. This tells us the information shared during the Preferred Pass workshop helps the job-seeker in working the event to their benefit.”
Pendergrass pointed out that one thing employers are looking for in job-seekers are the “soft skills” they need in an employee. She said that there are a lot of job openings in Union County and employers are willing to hire people who meet their expectations, especially in the area of soft skills. Pendergrass said that employers have told her that it is the lack of soft skills which prevents people from becoming good employees who can not only get a job, but keep it. She said that soft skills include the ability to communicate, having a positive attitude, prompt attendance, flexibility, initiative and time management.
“Employers say if they have someone with the soft skills, they can teach them how to do the job,” Pendergrass said.
Pendergrass said the goal of the Preferred Pass workshops and of the job fair itself, is to address the unemployment problem in Union County by helping people develop the skills they need to get and keep a job.
“There are a lot of unemployed people in Union County (and) my desire is to assist each in securing a job to help not only their family but Union County,” Pendergrass said. “I have always said it takes all of us working together to move Union County forward.”
While she encourages everyone who is looking for a job to attend the Preferred Pass workshops, Pendergrass those who don’t but still want to participate in the job fair are welcome to do so.
“Whether you have a Preferred Pass or not, you are invited to attend the August 6th Job Fair,” Pendergrass said. “SCWorks Union, Economic Development, and the SCC are working together to make this job fair the best Union County has had.”
Pendergrass added that job-seekers who attend the job fair should bring with them at least 10 copies of their updated resume and come dressed appropriately for an on-site interview.
The companies participating in the Union County Industry Job Fair include:
• Construction Resource Group
• Standard Textile
• Belk Distribution
• Dollar General Distribution
• Vapor Apparel
• Milliken (both local plants)
• Union County School District
The following positions will be available for job-seekers at the fair:
• Biotech Staff
• Waste Water Construction
• General Warehouse
• Bus Drivers
• Production & Machine Operators
• Sewing Operators
• Forklift Operators
• Material Handlers
In addition to providing job-seekers with opportunities for face-to-face interviews with the participating companies, the job fair will also provide them with “resume checkups.” The checkups will be conducted by the director the SCC Career Services Office who will critique resumes and offers suggestions for improving them. Job-seekers can then use an online template at the Advanced Technology Center (www.sccsc.edu/tips/) to retype their resumes and make the recommended changes.
The job fair will also make extensive use of social media including providing job-seekers with the opportunity to put selfies on Facebook or other social media sites in a professional selfie area. There will also be a hashtag — #mfgjobsunion.sc — that job-seekers can use.
Another unique feature of the job fair will be a “Most Professionally Dressed” contest. The contest is designed to encourage job-seekers to dress professionally for the job fair and interviews. The winner of the contest will receive two tickets to Biltmore Estates.
In addition, there will be a cookout during the duration of the job fair with free food served by local officials to the job-seekers and company representatives.
For more information about the Preferred Pass workshops call Katherine Pendergrass at 864-427-4119.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]