NC STATE GRANGEMany people associate the N.C. State Grange with insurance, which is accurate. But there is another side to the organization that is all about community — building a strong community and fostering success within its borders. 

On June 24, the N.C. State Grange will host its inaugural Joining Forces to Bring Veterans and Careers Together event at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

N.C. State Grange started in 1867, and incorporated in 1875. It originally worked on issues like railroad legislation and regulation. When the Department of Agriculture formed after World War I, the Grange went to work on behalf of farmers. While its history is long, its reach is even longer. In 1929, the Grange reorganized to not only serve farmers and their families but with a focus on communities. Community spirit and tolerance were strong themes for the Grange and still are. Part of that meant providing business training, which included a co-op for Grange members. Education was another pillar of the organization and remains so to this day. Future Farmers of America and 4-H Clubs have the Grange to thank for their existence, according to the website. Through 141 years of serving North Carolina communities the Grange has always been about building strong communities — in whatever ways make sense. 

“This is our first ever (job fair),” said N.C. State Grange President Jimmy Gentry. “Sometime ago the board said ‘We really ought to do something for veterans.’ We are a grass-roots organization and we support vets. We were thinking in terms of a day to do a presentation to honor
veterans, but as we started looking into it, we were told the best thing
we could do for vets is help find them jobs. So it led us to taking a
different direction.” 

While this is the first ever job fair hosted by the this non-profit, Gentry noted that he hopes it is not the last. “We have high hopes for this, and we are looking to have a good turnout.” 

Vets in attendance can look for a mix of veteran-related organizations and companies that are looking to offer good jobs and are currently hiring. “Those coming are in a position to hire,” said Gentry. Some organizations scheduled to attend are Farm Credit Administration, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes, the Department of Agriculture, the State Highway Patrol, Smithfield, Uber and more. “We have about 35 participants and are looking to get a few more.”

While this job fair is about making connections, the N.C. State Grange is looking to see veterans actually walk away from this event with job offers in hand, maybe even more than one. With that in mind, it is going out of its way to provide everything an employer might need to seal a deal with a potential job candidate. “We are setting up a space at the event for employers to do on-the-spot interviews, so people should come with their resumés. We chose a venue that we think will facilitate an event that is successful for vets and businesses in attendance.” 

The job fair is at the Embassy Suites Hotel from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit www.ncgrange.com or call 624-4444 for more information.

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