Cherokee Career Expo: Where Preparation Meets Opportunity
On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 410 job seekers lined the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center to meet with 34 of Cherokee’s leading employers. Hosted by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) and the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL), this annual event has helped more than 2,250 individuals in their job-seeking endeavors.
This year’s expo featured an impressive line-up of employers, including many of Cherokee’s advanced manufacturers such as Universal Alloy Corporation, Chart Industries, OECHSLER Motion, Inc. (adidas SPEEDFACTORY), Inalfa Roof Systems, and many more. Employers ranged from startups like Black Airplane to leading healthcare providers Northside Hospital-Cherokee and the new WellStar Cherokee Health Park at Holly Springs – opening September 2019.
“WellStar was excited to connect with attendees at the Cherokee Career Expo to discuss career opportunities at our new WellStar Cherokee Health Park. We have 1,304 team members who live in Cherokee County and another 172 team members who work in Cherokee. We plan to add 100 to 125 additional team members once the WellStar Cherokee Health Park at Holly Springs opens in September 2019,” said Joe Brywczynski, Senior Vice President of WellStar Health Parks Administration & Development.
Cherokee County has earned a strong reputation for its highly-skilled workforce, a top-tier education system, and vibrant communities. These reasons, among many others, are why Cherokee earned the top spot as the fastest growing county in metro Atlanta, according to a 2018 report by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
In 2018, Cherokee experienced another year of record growth with 458 new career opportunities, 13 industry expansions, and $126MM in new capital investment. COED also revealed the new Cherokee By Choice brand, a public-facing initiative that connects both people and businesses to economic opportunity. The brand was launched along with COED’s new interactive website, which features a robust career search platform for local employers to announce career opportunities.
“Cherokee is no longer a temporary address before making a big move,” said COED Chairman Marshall Day. “Cherokee is the move. The talent is here. The workforce is here. The community is here. And they are all in Cherokee by choice.”
The Cherokee Career Expo serves as a catalyst for helping individuals find employment closer to home. Pillow Perfect Media Manager Sean O’Kelley attended last year’s expo and was hired by local design and pillow manufacturer, Pillow Perfect. “I was driving to downtown Atlanta every day and wanted more quality time with my family. I decided to give the career expo a chance, and the rest is history. I am now employed by a great company within 5 miles of my house and can spend more time doing the things I love.”
“When companies are seeking to relocate or expand in Cherokee, finding a quality workforce is no longer a unique selling point – it’s an expectation,” said COED President & CEO Misti Martin. “Whether it’s recruiting a new company, helping an existing industry expand, securing film projects, embracing entrepreneurship, or promoting careers on the cherokeega.org website, it’s all about finding the right talent. That’s why the Cherokee Career Expo is such a valuable tool for our community.”
In addition to meeting with the county’s top employers, expo attendees were also offered complimentary, one-on-one resume review assistance from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Mobile Workforce Lab and representatives from Chattahoochee Technical College’s Career Services Center.
“We walked away from the event with a stack of resumes from highly-qualified candidates,” said Tim May, Training Manager at Roytec Industries, LLC. “We look forward to the possibility of hiring quality talent from right here in Cherokee.”
Job-seekers who missed the event can still take advantage of current career opportunities on the COED website: https://www.cherokeega.org/career-expo/. Follow https://www.cherokeega.org/careers/find-a-job/ for job opportunities throughout the year.