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DEW is Working to Get Mohawk Employees Jobs Before They Are Unemployed
50 Businesses Participate in Major Job Fairs in Marlboro County as Mohawk Prepares for Layoffs
Columbia, S.C. – When Mohawk Industries, a Fortune 500 floor-covering manufacturer and distributor in Bennettsville, South Carolina announced it was shutting down its manufacturing plant and laying off more than 600 employees by November 2022, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) immediately took action. This shut down comes as a massive blow to Bennettsville, Marlboro County, and the state because the Mohawk jobs make up 25% of all manufacturing jobs in the county.
On August 2, 2022, the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) received notice that the South Carolina Mohawk facility would be closing. In mid-August, DEW provided initial on-site meetings with Mohawk employees on all shifts to review the reemployment services available to employees through SC Works.
Tuesday and Thursday of this week, two huge job fairs were planned for Mohawk employees including more than 50 employers, and hosted by Marlboro County and SC Works. Yesterday, 294 Mohawk employees attended, with hundreds of employees expected to attend tomorrow’s event, from 10 am – 2 pm at the Wade H. Prince Recreation Center in Blenheim.
“The loss of Mohawk in Marlboro County is unfortunate as they have been a key player in the local job market for many years now,” said S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey. “These job fairs are critical because they provide the opportunity for Mohawk employees to talk with potential employers before they are laid off. This joint effort between Mohawk, our agency, the Pee Dee Council of Government, and the county, led by Administrator Ron Munnerlyn, is just one of many ways were are working to help these individuals find new jobs.”
Businesses participating in the job fairs commented on how well run and mutually beneficial the event was for employers and jobseekers. Employers at the job fairs are making job offers on the spot. “This was a very well-organized event with a great turnout with Mohawk employees, and we saw a lot of maintenance people with shift preference we can work with,” said Marely Engineered Products Human Resources Director Rett Padgett. “We were looking for operators and electricians to fill 15 positions and we feel confident that we can fill half of those positions today, and we are interested in doing a hiring event at the Bennettsville SC Works Center,” said Schaeffler Human Resources Coordinator Kathy Cassidy. “We’re very happy with the Mohawk employees,” concludes RBC Bearings Human Resources Manager Kayla West. “A lot of Mohawk employees are willing to work 3rd shift roles that are exactly what we are looking to hire.”
Lunch is provided at the job fairs thanks to County Administrator and Economic Developer, Ron Munnerlyn, and the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority is providing transportation to employees from Mohawk to the job fairs.
The SC Works Career Coach is outside, equipped with workstations and on-site assistance from SC Works representatives. This mobile work center can help jobseekers with resumes, conducting job searches, submitting applications, interview training, and more.
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