Staff Photo: Crystal Tatum Dawn Dalton with Brightmoor Hospice rings a bell outside the Historic Courthouse in Covington to announce several job openings for her business.
COVINGTON -- The Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is making a big deal out of local companies that are hiring, going so far as to announce the openings on the courthouse steps and ring a bell in celebration.
It's all an effort to draw attention to the fact that, despite a rough economy, there are local jobs available to Newton residents.
To the 72 percent of Newton's workforce that commute outside the county, Chamber President Hunter Hall said, "We want you to know there are jobs here right now that you can apply for. We want you to ditch the commute."
Chamber staff will be on the courthouse steps the first Friday of the month throughout 2012 to announce new job openings, and yes, ring that bell.
"Throughout history, the ringing of a bell signified to those that could hear it that there was an announcement, there was information that needed to be shared, there was a cause that needed to be rallied around; and we are ringing this bell for the creation of jobs in Newton County and rally for the whole state and the whole world, for that matter," Hall said.
The monthly announcements will be filmed and broadcast on YouTube and promoted via Facebook and Twitter.
"So much of the dialogue in our market today is negative. We want to get a message of positive encouragement out to the community because we know it's there," Hall said.
The first bell-ringing ceremony took place Friday, with five businesses announcing job openings.
Robyn Chapman with Manpower Staffing announced a demand for machine operators, electronic assemblers, assemblers and forklift and material handlers. Tiffany Diallo with Amedisys, a home health care company, said there are positions available for a full-time and part-time RN, a physical therapist and clinical manager.
Dawn Dalton with Brightmoor Hospice said two full-time RNs and a certified nursing assistant positions are available. Apollo Staffing is looking to fill 11 copper brazing positions as well as numerous positions for janitorial and cafeteria staff in the local school system. LocalWise is also hiring two web designers/developers.
More information can be obtained by viewing the youtube video at http://youtube/nmcTQ3fJKJU.
Diallo said Friday's event will be beneficial to her company.
"I think it's incredibly helpful because it lets people know we're trying to hire. We are local and we want to hire local," she said.
Companies that are hiring and want to be part of next month's event are asked to call the Chamber at 770-786-7510.