Hiring event connects local companies with job seekers

Published 10:00 am Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Chambers County “Manufacturing Excellence” hiring event was held on Wednesday. The joint effort by the Chambers County Development Authority (CCDA) and Goodwill Southern Rivers in Opelika, was well attended with over 40 job seekers stopping by.

When asked if there is a need among local companies for hiring currently,  Ansley Emfinger of the CCDA said, “There are always needs.” 

Local companies had booths providing information to workers and applications they could fill out at the event. The companies that attended were John Soules Foods, Hantal Alabama Corporation, Berry Global, Hi-Lex, and West Fraser. All the companies in attendance mentioned a desire to hire locally.

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“I’d say probably like 60% of our employees are local, within 30 miles. We try to get some local people … So transportation isn’t a big issue, said Felicia Faust, an HR generalist at John Soules Foods.

Both the Hi-Lex and Berry representatives discussed the culture of their companies, and finding employees that complement those cultures. Tremonte Jackson of Hi-Lex said the company is very different from just a few years ago and is looking to build a new culture. For Berry, HR manager, Macie Almand said, “[Berry] wants to make sure it’s a good fit for them but also a good fit for us.”

Other community partners were in attendance including Circle of Care Center, which offers workforce development training, and Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC), which has its’ Electrical program in Valley. The Alabama Department of Labor, the Alabama Career Center System and Goodwill Career Center also had booths. Many SUSCC students came to the event looking for post-college jobs, according to the school’s representative, Tim Beasley.  

“Our job is trying to prepare students to go work at these companies that are represented here,” said Beasley.