Recently, Wal-Mart said it would be hiring 2.0000 seasonal workers for their North Carolina stores to meet expected holiday demand — though the retailer was not able to say where those extra workers will be located.
Many locally owned businesses, however, don’t foresee the need for seasonal help for the holidays.
Although job growth downtown has been steadily climbing over the past two years, according to Lizzie Morrison, coordinator for Mount Airy Downtown Inc., locally owned businesses don’t seem to be hiring for seasonal help, such as Memories on Main, Creative Sewing, Mayberry Trading Post and Mt. Airy Tractor Toyland.
Tony Mizzi, workforce center manager for the Employment Security Commission, said, “We do see employees looking to hire seasonal employees every year.” Mizzi said most of those jobs were from local retail businesses. Her advice for job seekers was to look on local businesses websites frequently for job postings.
Traditionally, a company will bring on additional help during the holiday season after offering current associates the opportunity to sign up for additional hours. Employees initially hired as seasonal sales associates, cashiers and stockers sometimes continue as full-time employees and progress within the company.
Last year, more than half of Wal-mart’s seasonal employees nationwide continued with the retailer as permanent employees, according to Ashley Helms, media contact for Wal-Mart.
Helms could not provide any local figures for how many people will be hired at any of the local Wal-Mart stores.
Morrison, who also owns Blue Rabbit Art Gallery, said downtown merchants hire “the best of the best.”
“The family atmosphere makes the downtown shopping experience the friendliest one around,” she said. “I stopped shopping at Hanes Mall (in Winston-Salem) several years ago,” because, she said the quality of gifts and the experience she believes are much better in Mount Airy.
She said that shopping locally in Mount Airy also supports people that work and live in the community, “Our neighbors, and friends.”
According to Rose Ayers, owner of Memories on Main, “the fall selling season has been really strong.” Ayers hopes the local residents will continue to support the businesses downtown into the holidays, since the tourist season is coming to an end.
Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or on Twitter @MtAiryNewsEva