GNTC jobs fair connects job seekers with employers

·3 min read

Apr. 14—"I think they should have (jobs fairs like this) even more frequently," said Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) student Fiona Wade. "I know they couldn't" due to COVID-19 safety protocols, but "I'm glad it's back."

The jobs fair on April 7 at GNTC was "really good, because you can make a connection with the person at the table," said Gabriela Olvera, who lives in Chatsworth and was looking for a summer job. "If you go (to a business), they might be busy and not able to answer your questions."

It's "good for students looking for jobs, as well as for companies to find employees," said Braynson Holloway, who is studying mechanics and robotics at GNTC. There are "very interesting opportunities."

More than 30 local employers gathered at GNTC's campus in Dalton to meet with the job seekers, according to the college. Area employers included AdventHealth, the Dalton Police Department, Coca-Cola, Dalton Utilities, Engineered Floors, Hamilton Health Care System, Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group Inc., Trinseo, Textile Management Associates, CHI Memorial, Hanwha Q Cells, PruittHealth, U.S. Xpress Inc., Premier Truck Group, CFL Flooring, Hitachi Astemo/Nissin, the Family Resource Agency of North Georgia, Novalis, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., the Georgia State Patrol, Audia Plastics, Alliant Health Plans, FieldTurf, Barnsley Resort, GEDIA Georgia, The Recreational Group/Controlled Products, Mountain View Auto Group, Challenger Turf, Primary Healthcare Centers, Dalton Box, The Dixie Group and Tarkett.

"I heard about this from a teacher, and I'm really wondering what is out there," said Holloway. "I have a job at Shaw Industries right now, and I plan to either (move) up at Shaw or somewhere (else)."

Wade is studying industrial systems technology at GNTC's Catoosa County campus but made the trek to Dalton for a shot at landing a job.

"I'm good with machines, a good skill to have as our world becomes more (automated)," she said. She was particularly intrigued by Mohawk, and "I gave them my résumé."

Employ Georgia, the Georgia Department of Labor's online job listing service at employgeorgia.com, showed more than 1,500 active job postings in Dalton for February.

"We're looking (for employees) every single day, and we have" many positions, from productions and engineering to financing and human resources, said Prisma Lopez, a Hanwha Q Cells human resources recruiter and generalist. "It really just depends on what you're looking for, and we have a clean, climate-controlled facility." The solar module manufacturing plant in the Carbondale Business Park just south of Dalton opened in 2019.

Lopez "was really nice, and (her unreserved endorsement of Q Cells) says a lot about the company," said Olvera, who is studying to be a dental hygienist. "The people at Shaw were really nice, too, and they gave me a lot of information."

Lopez was pleased by the number and quality of the job seekers, including "plenty of electricians," she said. "We've had (several) people apply here today."