LUMBERTON — The search for people to fill the more than 100 salaried positions needed to operate the Sanderson Farms processing plant in St. Pauls and related hatchery kicked off this week in Lumberton.
The event, billed as a “Sanderson Farms Career Interest Meeting,” began Tuesday and continues today and Thursday in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium on the campus of Robeson Community College. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day.
“A job fair is one of the first things we do as part of the process to identify our salary team,” said Bob “Pic” Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms. “It is a chance for us to meet people in the community from which a bulk of our salaried employees will come.”
The companyis looking to hire managers, plant supervisors, human resources personnel, accountants, registered nurses, customer service representatives and maintenance workers. All positions are listed with the NCWorks Career Center of Lumberton.
“We have a large range of different jobs that are needed to run and make our facilities successful,” Billingsley said. “The salary ranges are varied and compatible with the wages and benefits of the local market.”
Billingsley said the company expects a crowd.
“We expect a large turnout as in other places we have opened facilities,” he said. “We’ll have a good number of staff present. We like to be thorough. The applicants will meet and interview with several of our people.
“It’s a good system,” Billingsley said. “We have it so we won’t be pressed for time when we meet with individuals. It’s very important to us to try to identify the people who have what we are looking for in those who come to work for us.”
Billingsley said that the next step for those offered employment by the company will be for them to attend a training program at an existing Sanderson Farms facility, such as the one located in Kinston.
“They will then be ready to be on board when our facilities in St. Pauls and Lumberton are up and running,” he said.
Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the country, is building a $115 million processing plant on N.C. 20 about four miles west of St. Pauls. The plant will process about 1.25 million chickens a week and employ more than 1,000 people.
In addition, the company is building a $17 million hatchery on N.C. 41 just east of Lumberton. It is expected to employ about 75 people.
The company has set January 2017 as a goal for getting the plant open.