ROCK HILL — Tamika Eddie, a Lancaster resident, said she doesn’t even bother looking for jobs in her hometown anymore because the market is flush with job seekers.
In Lancaster County, the unemployment rate is 11.1 percent.
“I just go out of town,” she said.
Eddie was one of hundreds of people who submitted job applications in the first two hours of a job fair held by Publix in Rock Hill Tuesday. The company is hiring 250 employees for its two locations opening this fall in Fort Mill and Indian Land. The Fort Mill store is under construction at the corner of Gold Hill and Pleasant roads. The Indian Land store is near the Hwy. 521 and Doby’s Bridge Road intersection.
The job fair will continue Tuesday until 7 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Holiday Inn on Galleria Blvd.
Publix officials were taking applications, but not conducting interviews. Interviews will be scheduled for next week, they said, and “we’ll be extending positions then,” District Manager Rich DiRocco said.
Other positions will be hired closer to the stores’ opening date, tentatively scheduled for the end of October.
The popular grocer is hiring for hourly employees right now, DiRocco said, not management.
Eddie was applying for any position – bagger, stocking, cashier – it didn’t matter to her.
“As long as I can get a paycheck. I’ve got two kids to support,” Eddie said.
Publix officials declined to provide a pay range for Publix’ hourly employees but according to the company’s website, hourly employees such as a cake decorator can earn between $8 and $14.25 an hour depending on skill, experience and whether they work full or part-time.
One prospective employee, who asked not to be named, walked into the Holiday Inn wearing a shirt and tie, hoping to get a position at one of the new stores. Right now he works for a competing grocery store, but decided to jump ship because of Publix “great reputation,” he said.
“I’ve always heard, ‘If you get a chance to work for Publix, take it.’”