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Ingles, Dollar Tree Distribution, BMW Manufacturing and more hold job fairs this week

Instant interviews and on-the-spot job offers have become the norm as companies from retail to manufacturing vie for candidates in a tight Upstate job market.

Hovering around 4.6 percent, the Upstate’s unemployment rate is higher than pre-pandemic levels but the labor participation rate is much less, says Johnnie-Lynn Crosby, Regional Business Solutions Director for SC Works Greater Upstate.

“Normally one of our in-person job fairs with multiple companies participating would draw 200 to 300 people,” Crosby said. “Today, that number is around 30. It’s an environment we’ve never experienced.”

Crosby said while some may still be wary about attending in-person events, pandemic relief and unemployment benefits equal to what many could earn in the workplace are likely having a greater impact.

“Those who are eligible and receiving unemployment, and not having to pay for things like childcare and transportation, are opting out of the labor pool at this time,” Crosby said.

SC Governor Henry McMaster announced last week that South Carolina will leave the federal unemployment programs providing extra money to jobless residents because of extraordinary workforce shortages. The state will opt out of the federal pandemic relief program that provides an extra $300 in weekly benefits beginning June 30.

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Meanwhile, SC Works is looking for ways to expand labor participation by reaching out to retirees and others who may be looking for “mini-shifts.” Meanwhile, companies are offering perks such as signing and attendance bonuses, free health insurance and on-the-job training to try to compete for workers.

If you’re looking for work in the Upstate, here are several upcoming job fairs to consider:

Ingles Markets

Ingles Markets will hold a companywide, in-person hiring fair at all of its retail store and distribution center locations Tuesday, May 11, through Thursday, May 13, from 10 am until 6 pm.

The supermarket chain is hiring for more than 4,000 openings across all stores and all departments. With flexible scheduling, growth opportunities and a fun team-oriented environment, Ingles officials say they hope to appeal to those reentering the workforce or looking for a change in their career.

Candidates should bring a facial covering and two forms of ID. Managers will be available for on-the-spot interviews at all Ingles locations.

Dollar Tree Distribution Center, Cowpens

Dollar Tree Distribution Center is hiring for more than 100 warehouse positions at its fully automated distribution facility in Cowpens, 1201 East, Mt. Olive Rd, Cowpens, SC 29330.

A Dollar Tree hiring event that includes onsite tours and interviews will be held at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, and at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 13. Positions are open on all shifts. Applicants can earn up to $15 per hour and receive cost-free medical coverage.

MAU Workforce Solutions, Greenville

MAU Workforce Solutions will host a BMW Job Fair on Tuesday, May 11, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the MAU Greenville branch, 7993 Pelham Road in Greenville.

SC Works Greater Upstate

SC Works Greater Upstate is hosting the following job fairs:

  • Tuesday, May 18, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at SC Works Spartanburg, 220 E Kennedy Street, Spartanburg SC 29302.
  • Wednesday, June 16 at Spartanburg Community College Tyger River Campus, 1875 E Main Street. Duncan SC 29334. Time to be determined.
  • Tuesday, June 22 at SC Works Spartanburg, 220 E Kennedy Street, Spartanburg SC 29302. Time to be determined.

For more information on Upstate job fairs, visit scworksupstate.com or follow SC Works Greater Upstate on Facebook @SCWorksGUP.

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