Outlook for 750 positions attracts hundreds to job fair

A job fair sponsored by Corestaff Services was held Tuesday at the OneStop Workforce Center on Wilson Street. More than 240 people submitted applications for seasonal employment with Shutterfly, an online picture service, located on Westinghouse Boulevard in South Charlotte. This business is seeking to hire 758 employees to complete its Christmas orders, said OneStop Manager Carolyn Dixon. Shutterfly makes books and postcards, she said. Employees are needed for a variety of positions which include assembly operators, press operators, press technicians, quality assurance, and bindery/photo technicians.

“We had people at our door at 8 a.m.,” Dixon said. “With the economy and unemployment rate at dire need in this area, we see people want to work, they just need a place to go.”

The OneStop Workforce Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to help with unemployment claims, the 10-member staff in Chester offers a case manager for vocational rehabilitation, an on-the-job-training program, referrals for financial assistance through Carolina Community Actions and education assistance from a representative of the Chester Center of York Technical College, Dixon said.

“The OneStop offers a variety of services to our customers,” she said. “We just want them to know we’re here.”

Corestaff representatives conducted interviews on-site at OneStop on Tuesday. Those hired must first pass a background check and are expected to receive calls of employment offers by Friday, Dixon said. The seasonal positions for Shutterfly range in pay from $9 to $10 per hour. Work schedules are 12-hour shifts Monday through Thursday beginning at 4 a.m. or 4 p.m. and on weekends.

“There’s never an empty shift,” Dixon said. “We hope to provide people with holiday work to help provide their families with their needs.”

Tuesday’s event was the “first major job fair” OneStop of Chester has held in more than two years, Dixon said. By 10 a.m., 123 job applications had been submitted.

“We’re seeing new faces. They’re coming from all over,” Dixon said. “We have all ages. We’re seeing men and women showing up hoping for work.”

Khrista Hayes, 20, was one of those new faces who applied for a position with Shutterfly on Tuesday. She explained why it was important to come early and take advantage of this job opportunity.

“I’ve just finished school as a Patient Care Technician,” Hayes said. “I’m going back to school in January for Medical Assistant but I need a job in the meantime.”

Two single mothers also felt the job fair was a great opportunity to help make Christmas a little brighter for their families. Both women have been unemployed for more than six months.

Tia Taylor, 28, is the mother of five children. She’s been unemployed since March, she said.

“I’ve got faith in God I’ll get a job,” Taylor said. “I’ve got to do this for my kids. It’s not about me, it’s about my kids. I want to show them there are things you have to do to achieve things you want to do.”

Denetria Williams, 36, has been unemployed for two years, which she referred to as “a long time.” Her brother saw the job fair information posted on Facebook and called her early Tuesday, she said.

“Hopefully, I can get this job,” Williams said. “I have four kids, it’s close to Christmas time and I need a job.”

By Denyse Middleton, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter