Archived Story

Jobs available in county

Published 11:58am Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The workforce in Alexander City is large enough to support additional industries – that’s according to Sandra Kinman with Onin Staffing, who spoke at the Citizens Promoting Progress meeting Monday night.

“There are jobs available in Tallapoosa County,” Kinman said. “It may not be the job that everybody wants – it may not be the pay rate everybody wants – but we have jobs available in our office on a daily basis.”

But even with those jobs available, Kinman said she feels comfortable saying Tallapoosa County could support more industry with the available workforce.

Onin Staffing deals with temporary staffing as well as direct hire staffing, and Kinman said about 75 percent of temporary employees lead to a permanent position, although her office does face challenges.

“Unemployment – you can draw $250 a week,” Kinman said. “When we have jobs to offer, we call people and say, ‘We have a job available at so-and-so; would you like to go to work?’ (And they say) ‘No, I’d like to say home and draw unemployment.’”

Kinman pointed out the strengths of Madix and the way the company treats temporary employees as one of the area success stories.

“Usually once you show to Madix you’re a good employee, they hire you on after 90 days,” Kinman said. “So that is a positive in our area.”

She also mentioned the strength of Wellington Industries and the potential for growth in other local industries. Although Kinman declined to speak on the Korean companies, she said they were not successful at retaining employees in Tallapoosa County.

“Just about one of every four applications we see come in have worked at one of the Korean facilities here,” Kinman said. “They have lasted three months, and they have left.”

Kinman said because of that she hopes the Economic Development Alliance and other city organizations will try to “bring in companies that will benefit our people.”

“You can get people to do anything you want them to do if you treat them well,” Kinman said.

Kinman said they can also recruit people from other cities to come to Alexander City if new jobs become available that need to be filled.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ann Rye also offered her comments on bringing new jobs to the area, emphasizing a focus on looking forward.

“You can’t change your future by looking back,” Rye said. “One thing that I really want to work toward is connecting … I’m the kind of person that builds bridges.”

Rye said one key was connecting the lake, U.S. Highway 280 and downtown and targeting businesses like restaurants, boutiques, outlet stores and coffee shops to promote business throughout the city.