FAIRMONT — Two members of the Fairmont Board of Commissioners during its meeting Tuesday clashed briefly over the number of people hired following a recent jobs fair.
According to Commissioner Charles Kemp’s report from the April 5 Select Staffing employment session, 25 people attended, nine were from Fairmont, 60 percent of attendees met employer Harbor Freight’s hiring qualifications, and 15 attendees have been hired or will start work soon.
Monte McCallum took issue with the figure showing how many have been hired or will be hired.
“I got 15 names and only three said they had been called. It was the same names you had, with the phone numbers,” McCallum said, referring to a list of names and numbers Kemp had given him.
Kemp said the list he had given McCallum did not include people who came to the job fair and left before McCallum asked him for a list.
“… When they think they are coming in to a job fair to do applications and give them a 10-minute conversation and they tell them to go on a web site,” McCallum said. “We don’t want to just be coming to job fairs and not getting a response from the employers, just getting a sentence to go to the web site. But it’s real good. I’ve been here with you the whole time and I appreciate you.”
Kemp said he was sure of the numbers then a minor argument ensued, which Mayor Charles Townsend ended. Kemp explained his numbers after the meeting.
“I’m telling you that the lady who is the manager of Select Staffing of Kinston told me that three had already been hired on Monday after her job fair and that 12 more would be hired this week,” Kemp said. “I’m guaranteeing you that 15 have been hired.”
Kemp said the hiring representative conducted five-minute interviews with each of the 25 applicants and then suggested that they apply online.
McCallum said he thought it was standard to fill out a paper application at a job fair, but he knows now that is not the case. He doesn’t want job seekers who do not have a computer or smart phone to get left out.
“That was my concern but it’s a great thing that’s going on and hopefully we can continue to match people with jobs through this,” McCallum said. “We just want to make sure that everyone is given the proper chance.”
Two upcoming job fairs are Two Hawk Staffing for Campbell Soup, Elkay and others on April 26 from 10 a.m. until noon; and Mountainaire Farms on May 10 from 10 a.m. until noon. Both will be held in the Fairmont Town Hall courtroom.
In other business, the board:
— Town Manager Katrina Tatum told the board that a business has expressed interest in the shell building in the industrial park.
— Approved a request to join a multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan as required by the federal government. Fairmont, other municipalities and county government will be a part of the plan, which is necessary in order to remain eligible for federal disaster funding.
— Decided to seek help from the North Carolina Rural Planning Center in developing an economic development strategic plan.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.