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'It's not an employers market anymore' | NC Works, SC Works hosts combined job fair Thursday

SC Works and NC Works are partnering to host one of the biggest job fairs they've ever organized.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to a study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more people quit in 2021 than ever before. This has left employers competing for workers, and hoping some of the people who quit will choose their company as their next workplace.

SC Works and NC Works want to be innovative in connecting employers with job seekers. On Thursday, the two organizations hosted a hybrid in-person and virtual job fair representing more than 50 companies.

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“It's not an employers market anymore," Rosalind Harps with SC Works said. "Employees now can pick and choose where they want to work. Since the pandemic, a lot of employers increase their wages, even in the hospitality area.”

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SC Works and NC Works are trying to help companies in a competitive job market, Harps said, adding it's a good time to look for a job. 

“Right now we got employers that are constantly calling us every day saying, 'Hey, post this job, post that job, I really, really need people. I need them now," Harps said. 

One of the companies that were excited about the job fair was QMD, a Rock Hill company manufacturing medical equipment parts. Its recruiter, Kristin Walker, said QMD is now offering higher wages, a flexible schedule, and a $1,000 hiring bonus.

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“We're trying to work with our employees because we have listened to them," Walker said. "And, you know, once an employee starts, we want to make sure that they feel that they have a work-life balance."

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Harps said QMD's minimum pay for an employee starting out is $17 per hour, with many making more than $20 an hour. The company also offers flexible shifts, allowing people to work three 12-hour shifts and have four days off from work. The positions also come with benefits, including a 401K match of 6%. 

Times have changed. Walker said now companies must stay innovative and competitive if they want people to work for them.

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"I don't think [companies] really have a choice if they want to survive in the market," Walker said. "Companies have to come up with more creative ways to keep their employees engaged." 

QMD was at the job fair on March 24 at the NC Works Career Center in Charlotte at 8601 McAlpine Park Drive, Suite 110. The in-person portion was from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and the virtual version was from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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