Open-air restaurants, church services, movie screenings and more have become a trend nowadays due to the coronavirus — and this also now involves the employment process, including a gathering this week in Mount Airy.
An open-air hiring event is scheduled Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the NCWorks Career Center of Surry County. It is located at 541 W. Pine St., Suite 300.
Local businesses slated to participate in the job fair hosted by the center include B & G Food Snacks Inc., Insteel Industries Inc., Leonard, Shenandoah Furniture, Tampco and Altec.
“It is a variety of different employers,” Beverly Frey, manager of the local NCWorks Career Center, said Monday of a list that includes ones looking to fill manufacturing and other positions.
In addition to those entities, another will be represented at the event to provide information on educational opportunities available to folks who might be interested in going back to school as one option at this point in time.
“Surry Community College will be coming and joining us,” Frey said.
Tables will be set up outside in front of the NCWorks Career Center building as part of an overall arrangement that emphasizes COVID-related precautions. Interested individuals are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing while attending the fair.
In a sign of the times, another business planning to participate in the hiring event, Bayada Home Health Care, had to cancel due to a coronavirus quarantine situation there, according to Frey.
Participants are encouraged to bring a resume to Wednesday’s job fair.
People tend to confuse the NCWorks Career Center with another agency of state government, the Division of Employment Security (DES), which formerly was housed in the facility on West Pine Street.
While the latter is responsible for administering the unemployment insurance program in North Carolina, the NCWorks Career Center, on the other hand, is part of the state Division of Workforce Solutions. Its mission involves helping residents with job-related needs including administering a statewide system of workforce programs.
The NCWorks Career Center is geared toward those looking for work, seeking to change jobs or undergo training. “And there’s funding out there for people who are unemployed,” Frey added regarding the educational aspect.
Wednesday’s open-air hiring event is an effort to match individuals with businesses interested in what they have to offer.
“I would say there’s quite a few employers that are looking for people,” Frey said.
In riding around town, one sees “now hiring” signs posted at various establishments. And the local NCWorks Career Center manager believes a factor tightening the labor market is fear among some people, who because of COVID-19, are “afraid to be out there.”
Frey did not have a complete list of positions available among businesses planning to take part in the open-air hiring event, but said Insteel Industries, for example, has openings for electrical technicians, maintenance technicians and machine operators.
A check Monday for all jobs statewide in a NCWorks database listed about 5,700 positions available.