Ena Sellers, Managing Editor - Lejeune Globe
Posted: Thursday, September 7, 2017 12:00 am
The weekend event will not only focus on career opportunities and job interviews in Catawba County, but will also feature community tours to educate potential employees about the school system, local resources and to highlight the lifestyle and amenities available.
“The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation have worked in collaboration with the NCWorks Career Center for more than a year on behalf of local employers to recruit this population of highly coveted, highly talented individuals, advocate for a community culture that is supportive and inclusive to veterans, and serve as the platform to open doors, enabling local employers access to this valuable talent pool,” said Lindsay Keisler, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.
According to Keisler, partnerships with organizations like NC4ME and USO of North Carolina have been an asset educating them and local employers about hiring transitioning veterans to fill the job openings.
“Vets are the best of the best. Each has the discipline, teamwork, leadership and other soft skills that employers covet,” said Nathan Huret, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, Existing Industry Services director.
According to Huret, the participating employers look to gain access to highly skilled, adaptable and educated employees who can make a substantial impact within their companies and also bring a competitive edge.
“We are working with a number of statewide employment partners to do a prematched hiring event. To participate, we are requiring all companies and hiring event participants to register prior to the event,” said Huret. “Then those partners will look at the employers’ hiring needs and match those to the interests and skillset of the hiring event participants. This means that this will be an event where every candidate will know the exact job/company for which they will be interviewing that morning. Presently, we have 17 different companies participating in the hiring fair, interviewing for more than 40 different positions.”
According to Huret, participating companies will either be making a conditional job offer that day or they will be providing the candidate with a very clear next step in the interview process.
“Veterans and their families will have the opportunity to participate in all-expenses-paid community excursions on Friday and Saturday. These experiences include, but aren’t limited to, fishing on Lake Hickory, enjoying family time in one of our great parks, exploring the Catawba Science Center, playing a round at one of our pristine golf courses, and even throwing one back with friends at a local brewery or winery. In addition, all guests will receive a general community familiarization tour and have an exclusive invitation to a welcome celebration to meet other veterans who live and work in the community. We want them to see and feel what Catawba County can offer them, their spouse and their children.”
The first 50 people to register for the event will receive a complimentary two-day hotel stay at the Crown Plaza Hickory, a gas card and transportation to all activities among several other perks.
“Complimentary child care will be provided for the hiring event and the community tour,” said Keisler as she explained the YMCA of Catawba Valley will be on site at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in order to provide the opportunity for both the veteran and their spouse to interview with local employers and see the community.
Weekend festivities begin Sept. 15 at noon with the Wildlife Experience Excursion where outdoor lovers can enjoy skeet shooting and targets. Other excursions will include beer and wine tastings, a visit to a golf club, a pampering treat at the spa, a visit to a children’s museum popular for its hands-on exhibits, salt and freshwater aquarium galleries and a state-of-the-art digital planetarium theater. The welcome celebration will kick off at 6 p.m. at the Rock Barn Country Club and Spa.
Day two starts with the NC4ME Hiring Event at the Hickory Metro Convention Center from 8 a.m. to noon followed by a community tour from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. with a great line up of excursions kicking off immediately after, ranging from fishing to a tour of the Hickory Motor Speedway, a visit to the Paramount Classic Cars Museum and more.
“Our ultimate vision of our Welcome Home Hickory Metro weekend is to create a steady pipeline of military talent relocating to Catawba County — we realize this starts with a trickle before it’s a steady flow. We are confident that we have both the great careers accompanied closely with the quality of life which will enable these veterans and their families to thrive in their next phase of life,” said Keisler.
If you are transitioning out of the military and unsure about your future, this weekend getaway can be the answer you’ve been looking for. For more information about the event or to register, visit www.welcome-hky-metro.org
Editor’s note: “Focus on Veterans” features former service members and also seeks to highlight local veteran programs and resources. Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.