Panic, worry for Kroger employees at job fair

To help the more than 1,000 people who will lose their jobs when 14 Triangle Kroger stores close next month, the company is hosting a career fair to help employees get work.

Posted Updated

Emmy Victor
, WRAL reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Kroger employees, on the clock to find a new position after the grocer announced plans to close 14 Triangle-area stores, took advantage Tuesday of a job fair and resume assistance to help them through the transition.

Saundra Buchanan started her job as a bakery and deli clerk at Kroger on North Pointe Drive in Durham a little over a year ago, but she thought she was in it for the long haul.

"I thought our store was really doing well and making money, so I figured this was a job that I could have for a while," she said.

"It didn’t really hit me until the store’s, like, emptying out. So I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pay all my bills."

Rosemary Boathie, a cashier at an Apex Kroger, shared that worry.

"We were sad, surprised," she said of learning her store would close. "We don’t know what’s going to happen."

The career fair will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Hampton Inn in Brier Creek, where more than two dozen companies have signed up to meet with the Kroger employees. Kroger is also offering resume writing assistance both days.

Companies represented at the job fair will include Food Lion, Lowe’s Foods, Lidl, Walmart, Walgreens, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Target, Sherwin Williams, Spectrum, Allied Universal, Conduent, Croasdaile Village, NC State Dining, UNC Chapel Hill Carolina Dining Services, Washington Duke Inn, JB Duke Inn, Public Safety of NC, Budget Car Rental, Avis Car Rental, Work Personnel Services and Right at Home.

“We appreciate the commitment of these companies to discuss employment opportunities with our associates,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic Division.

“We’re making every effort to assist our associates in finding employment. Helping them through this transition is our number one priority."

According to local career coach Meloney Miller, there are several ways job seekers can impress potential employers at job fairs.

Her suggestions to help people stand out in a sea of candidates include:

  • Show up early, because some recruiters are ready to hire on the spot.
  • Come prepared with a few companies and roles you'd be interested in.
  • Sell transferable skills, such as customer service for roles that aren't in a grocery store.
  • Wear bright colors! If the person you spoke with doesn't remember your name, they may remember your outfit.
  • Don't forget to grab a business card and follow up with the recruiters.

The career fair runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at 8021 Arco Corporate Drive in Raleigh.

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