To make a talent connection today, businesses frequently recruit across various county and state lines, and jobseekers often travelacross those same lines to find work. Nowhere is a regional job market more evident than in the greater Charlotte area. To meet the needs of this market, workforce system partners in North Carolina and South Carolina offered the “Job Fair of the Carolinas.” For the fourth time in three years, workforce professionals from SC Works and NCWorks collaborated to present this job fair for the greater Charlotte region.

The in-person event was held on Wednesday, April 26th, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The job fair was hosted by Carowinds, an amusement park that spans both states.

In the greater Charlotte region, with only 0.8 jobseekers per job opening as of February 2023, events like the Job Fair of the Carolinas provide opportunities for employers to meet with qualified candidates in a short amount of time. At the Spring event, 61 employers and 331 jobseekers participated; businesses and candidates came together from both sides of the state line. These figures represent an increase of 38.6% for participating employers and 164.8% increase in jobseekers when compared to the Fall (September) 2022 event.

A variety of industry sectors, including hospitality, transportation/logistics, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, IT, state, local and federal government, construction, law enforcement, and communications, were represented. Businesses recruited for over 2,300 positions across a wide spectrum of occupations such as accounting, auditing, administrative, banking associate, customer service, teachers, nurses, skilled laborers, machine operators, truck and bus drivers, HVAC installers, maintenance, and janitorial.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Career Centers throughout North and South Carolina have become more innovative in carrying out their mission to connect businesses to talent. Job Fair of the Carolinas is just one of the many ways connection is facilitated. NCWorks and SC Works had their mobile units on-site at Carowinds, where jobseekers were able to print off resumes prior to meeting with businesses.

NCWorks and SC Works team members, along with partner agencies, offered guidance on how to successfully navigate the job fair. Staff also provided information on employment and training services available through each state’s American Job Centers (called “NCWorks Career Centers” in North Carolina and “SC Works Centers” in South Carolina).

“We truly value our partnership with SC Works. Job Fair of the Carolinas is a great opportunity to connect talent to jobs on both sides of the state line,” Ronne Grantham, NCWorks Regional Operations Director with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, said. “And, what better location to hold the event than at Carowinds, a business located in NC and SC. It is a great venue that allowed us to expand our in-person event and include more businesses.”

Diana Goldwire, Area Director for Region 2 with the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce, added, “Our two states working together just makes sense. Jobseekers and employers do not see county or state lines. Holding this event at Carowinds opened the doors for more employers to participate and therefore provided even more options for jobseekers to take advantage of to getting back to work.”

Job Fair of the Carolinas brought employers and job seekers together from across a five-county, two-state area: Mecklenburg and Gaston counties in North Carolina, along with Lancaster, Chester, and York counties in South Carolina.

The next Job Fair of the Carolinas event will be held in Fall 2023.

Stats for the Event:

  • Total Jobseeker customers – 331
    • SC customers – 160
    • NC customers – 171
  • Jobseeker survey responses – 148 completed; 45% response rate
    • 5 out of 5.0 Jobseeker satisfaction rate
    • 97% of Jobseekers would recommend this event
  • Employers present – 61; 1 no show
  • Employer survey responses – 57 completed; 95% response rate
    • 5% Employer satisfaction rate
    • 93% of Employers indicated meeting with qualified candidates
    • 98% of Employers indicated they would recommend this event
  • Employer intentions regarding jobseekers (numbers duplicated as multiple employers could be interested in same candidates)
    • How many do you plan to hire from this event – 309
    • How many do you plan to follow up with from this event – 812