CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thousands of people thronged to a Charlotte hotel, hoping for a shot at one of 900 jobs that will be created when the new Charlotte Premium Outlet Mall opens.
Within an hour of opening, the parking lot at the Sheraton Airport Hotel was full and job seekers had to walk in after parking blocks away.
Once inside they found recruiters from 100 of the stores that will be part of the mall when it opens in July.
Holly Roberson, the mall’s marketing director, said as many as 8,000 people were expected during the daylong event.
“We’re not really sure what to expect, but we have a lot of great retailers here that are trying to fill upwards of 900 jobs,” she said.
One of those hoping to find a job was Jill Kushmock, who has been out of work for six months. She has three children and said finding a job “would mean actually that all my bills would get paid.”
The jobs opened up on the same day the government announced that employment had grown by 288,000 people in April. Unemployment fell to 6.3 percent.
Many people have simply quit looking for jobs, so that resulted in a significant drop in the overall labor force.
Charlotte’s numbers reflect the national trend.
City Council member LaWana Mayfield said new developments like the mall will help.
“This is an amazing opportunity, not only for District 3 but for the city. We have over 900 jobs and there will be on the spot hiring so I’m excited to see this turnout,” Mayfield said.
Another job applicant, Derica Hemphill said, “Judging by what you can see here, it’s really hard for people, so if I could get a job, that would be a big help to my family,” she said.
Hemphill and the other thousands of applicants should start hearing from the stores in a couple of weeks.
Charlotte Premium Outlets is scheduled to open July 31.