Find a job close to home on March 15

Submitted by Cherokee Office of Economic Development

There’s the church where he was baptized; it’s the one his father and grandfather attended as boys. And the woods that filled with laughter as he camped with other young Boy Scouts. Cherokee County is the only home that Will Thacker has ever known; his family has lived here for seven generations.

Cherokee County has changed over the years. Thacker’s life is changing, too. He graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a degree in diversified agriculture in 2015. In August, he married his 24-year-old bride, Brittany. When the newlyweds began looking for their first home, they wanted only one thing: a property close to where they work. Will’s career is at Pilgrim’s, one of Cherokee’s oldest industries. Brittany is a pre-op nurse for Northside Hospital Cherokee.

“Before we were married, Brittany worked at a hospital in Griffin,” Will said. “She had anywhere from a 45 minute to an hour commute. I knew she was ready for a change on that end and personally, I didn’t want a long commute either. We didn’t want much, but we did want that.”

They got it. The couple recently bought a home in Holly Springs. “Everything fell right into place like it was meant to be,” he said with a smile.

Like other young couples, Will and Brittany know why Holly Springs was recently ranked the 17th Best Suburb for Millennials in Georgia. They also enjoy more leisure and less time spent in the car, since their commutes are just minutes to their workplaces.

Seventy-eight percent of Cherokee’s residents are leaving home before daylight, bracing for a white-knuckle commute. But now there’s more opportunity to work close to home than ever before. In 2016, Cherokee’s labor force grew by almost 15,000 people. New and existing industry generated more than 1,370 career opportunities.

There is no sign of a slow-down either. In fact, it’s anything but. The Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED) has seen a steady increase in business prospects since 2013; last year alone, the increase was 20 percent over the year before.

Perhaps to some, that’s nothing more than numbers. To others, it means opportunity; a chance to improve your quality of life. Get ready to mark your calendar. COED is hosting its third annual Cherokee Career Expo, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Labor. The Expo will be 2-6 p.m. March 15 at the Cherokee Conference Center, located at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. Attendance and parking are free. Scores of local businesses will be on-site to talk with candidates and accept résumés. For more information, call COED at 770-345-0600.

Forget the commute, like Will and Brittany, and live, work and play close to home in Cherokee County.

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