Opportunity Comes Full Circle-Cherokee Career Expo

There is something to be said about working in your home community. The sense of ownership that comes with living, working and enjoying the quality of life your town or county provides is empowering. As a job search begins, many people don’t know how to find work locally. They don’t realize that the positions they are looking for can be found a few miles away from home, and that is where the Cherokee Career Expo provides opportunity.

Last year, nearly 1,000 job seekers attended the first Cherokee Career Expo. The vast majority of the attendees were Cherokee County residents, all with different stories and reasons for being there. One candidate’s story stood out and perfectly describes the importance to nurturing local talent.

Zachary Carr grew up in Cherokee. A graduate of Creekview High School, Zac attended Kennesaw State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Applied Statistics & Data Analysis. He describes his search for employment discouraging following his graduation, until his parents urged him to attend the Cherokee Career Expo.

“As a recent graduate of Kennesaw State, I began the job search for something in my field of study. After about 4 months and approximately 10-15 interviews that did not lead to employment, I became discouraged. I had valuable experience through school and part-time work, but not the exact experience the companies were looking for. Knowing my frustration, my parents suggested I attend the Cherokee Career Expo. I did not think it would lead to anything, but never-the-less, I got ready and headed to the event with the goal of handing out 20 resumes. When I arrived the room was packed! I once again became discouraged thinking that there was no way out of all of these people, I would get chosen. I handed out only four resumes while there. I spoke to the representative at one of the companies who took notice of my college minor in Applied Statistics and Data Analysis and invited me to interview for their position as the eCommerce Data Specialist. The first interview led to a second interview, and I am now working at Pillow Perfect Inc. in Woodstock, doing a job that fits my talents.

I am thankful to Pillow Perfect for seeing my potential and allowing me the opportunity to prove myself. And I am thankful for the Cherokee Career Expo for helping me find a great employer close to home!” -Zac Carr

A year later, Zac is still employed at Pillow Perfect and is still thankful for being able to work in his hometown. “Living and working in Cherokee County has truly been a blessing. I assumed that worthwhile jobs were only found closer to Atlanta and that a terrible commute was an inevitable fate,” said Zac Carr. “I encourage everyone reading this to attend the Cherokee Career Expo. I hope it changes your life, because it certainly changed mine.” It is stories like this that inspired the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) to continue the Cherokee Career Expo. “We love Zac’s story,” said Misti Martin, COED President. “He is part of the millennial workforce we want in Cherokee and a great example of opportunity coming full circle.  He grew up here, was educated in our schools, and after college returned to use his talents. This is a hope we have for all of our residents.”

The 2nd Annual Cherokee Career Expo will be held March 24th from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center, located in The Bluffs at Technology Park, 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Canton, GA 30114.  Resume review and assistance will be available beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Pillow Perfect will return to event this year, along with 30 Cherokee companies ready to fill hundreds of open positions. Some of the participating employers include, Northside Hospital, Chart Industries, Inalfa Roof Systems, Piolax, Belnick Inc., MSK Covertech Inc., Universal Alloy Corporation and LAT Apparel. The available jobs run the gamut from nursing, engineering, operations, welding, PLC programming, client services, project management, admin and many more. A full list of employers and job titles can be found at here.