In Onslow County
In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis judged Onslow County to be the nation’s fastest-growing county in terms of five-year economic growth, and given the continuing financial fuel from Marines and sailors stationed at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station, the county’s prospects remain bright.
The Onslow County population should reach 195,835 people by 2016, the North Carolina Office of State Planning projected; the median household income from 2010 to 2014 was $46,141, the U.S. Census found, and the median age is 27 years old.
The military, agriculture and tourism are the top three economic areas for North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services calculates, and they also are tops in Onslow County.
The county seat, Jacksonville, works with partners to seek out new employment and economic opportunities for its citizens. Onslow Economic Development Commission (EDC) is funded in part by the city of Jacksonville and works to attract and maintain industry and economic activities by handling inquiries and pursuing leads, working closely with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Additionally, the EDC works to maintain industries that the area already has, and is faithful to military-related issues that affect the economy (https://jacksonvillenc.gov/index.aspx?nid=256).
Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development, Inc. (JOED), founded in 1970, is a nonprofit partnership, the “Committee of 100,” made up of individuals and representatives from industry and government to stimulate, encourage and promote economic development throughout Onslow County. JOED recruits new businesses and investments and works to create new jobs while retaining and expanding existing industries and businesses (www.joednc.com).
Rail and Transit Access
North Carolina’s growth and prosperity is inextricably linked to the history of transportation in the state, especially that of highway development. North Carolina has the second-largest state-maintained highway system in the nation, and the largest ferry system on the East Coast.
The early settlers widened and improved Native American paths into bridle trails and then dirt roads. In colonial times, waterways were the avenues of commerce: Almost all products were moved on rivers and streams within the state, and most manufactured goods arrived by sea. When goods had to be transported farther inland, local laws directed that roads be built to the nearest landing, and by this piecemeal process, the state slowly acquired a system of dirt roads.
A growing population demanded more roads, and 1830 introduced a new element — railroads, the newest and most efficient means of travel until the Civil War halted all transportation improvements in North Carolina. The military made heavy use of existing railroads, and post-war poverty during Reconstruction delayed renovations and improvements to the point that by 1870, the state gave up helping railroads and left their further development to private companies. In 1895, the Southern Railway acquired a 99-year lease on the Piedmont section of the North Carolina Railroad, while eastern routes fell to the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line Railway.
By the 20th century’s second decade, road-building was garnering new attention, and it was during this period that North Carolina was labeled “the Good Roads State.” In 1915, the Highway Commission was created, and in 1921 the General Assembly approved a $40 million state highway bond to construct a system of hard-surface roads connecting each of the 100 county seats with all the others. The new hard-surface roads proved ideal for the increasing numbers of automobiles and trucks, and more highway bonds were approved for a statewide system of paved highways, giving North Carolina more roads by 1930 than any other Southern state except Texas.
Since 1971, North Carolina has reigned as the No. 1 sweet potato-producing state in the country. Its hot, moist climate and rich, fertile soil are so good for cultivating sweet potatoes that the state produces, on average, almost half the U.S. supply. In 2010, North Carolina harvested nearly 50,000 acres of sweet potatoes, the USDA says, the same amount harvested by top producers California, Louisiana and Mississippi put together.
The state’s climate and soil is also ideal for growing Christmas trees. North Carolina ranks second in the nation for Christmas tree production, behind only Oregon. In 2012, Christmas tree sales in the state brought in more than $75 million.
MCB Camp Lejeune
The Onslow County Planning and Development Department reported in April 2016 that nearly 14 percent of all jobs in the county are in government, with MCB Camp Lejeune having the majority of them. The base and surrounding community are home to a population of more than 145,000 active duty, dependent, retiree and civilian employees. The base contributes more than $3.5 billion each year to the local economy in payroll, contracts, construction and other services that support training and equipping Marines, sailors and Coast Guard members.
At the national level such websites as www.monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, www.jobs.com and www.indeed.com have extensive search capabilities as well as resume tips, forum support and professional networking options.
The National Military Spouse Network, a networking, mentoring and professional development organization, has a wealth of career information at its websiteThe group aims to help military spouses build a meaningful, sustained career path and offers a library of articles that touch on topics from entrepreneurship, resume tips, self-promotion and more as well as a membership-only discussion forum. The organization also features companies that are military spouse-owned or military spouse-friendly on its Homefront Business Listings page.
North Carolina Division of Workforce Solutions
313 Chapanoke Road, Suite 120
Raleigh, NC 27603
The North Carolina Department’s Division of Workforce Solutions offers services for adults, veterans, youth and more. The division helps job seekers learn skills for new industries through NCWorks Apprenticeships and operates NCWorks Online, the state’s official job-search portal that connects individuals with employers. Veterans can visit their NCWorks Career Center and take advantage of no-cost services, including career assessments, labor market information, access to training and workshops, job interview preparation, and resume and cover letter assistance.
State of North Carolina
Employment opportunities with the state of North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast, are posted on the website. Search by category, department or location, then apply online.
234 NW Corridor Blvd.
Jacksonville, NC 28540
Onslow County is among the top 10 employers in the area. Jobs are posted online with salary range and benefits information, and applications are available for online submission only.
City of Jacksonville
815 New Bridge St.
Jacksonville, NC 28540
From the side menu on the city’s website, click “Employment” to view current job opportunities, apply online and get information about the hiring process.
Town of Holly Ridge
212 N. Dyson St.
Holly Ridge, NC 28445
From the main menu on city’s website, click “Info” to access Employment. View job openings and download applications. Job applications can be submitted in person or by mail.
Town of North Topsail Beach
2008 Loggerhead Court
North Topsail Beach, NC 28460
From the left-side menu on the town’s website, click “Job Openings” to access employment opportunities. View job openings and download the application. Completed applications can be submitted in person or via email.
Town of Swansboro
601 W. Corbett Ave.
Swansboro, NC 28584
From the main menu on the town’s website, click “Town Departments” then “Human Resources” and finally “Employment” to view job openings and download the application for employment. The completed application may be emailed, mailed or hand-delivered.
An employment agency can offer posts ranging from high-level administration to warehouse work. Many employers use agencies as their human resources department. Agencies advertise, interview, test and manage payroll. A temp-to-perm arrangement allows an employer and prospective employee to evaluate each other before committing to permanent employment.
Municipal and regional chambers of commerce include local employment agencies in their member lists, along with contact information. See Page 20 for a list of chambers of commerce in Onslow County.
Always keep your resume up-to-date and have different resumes that target specific industries and highlight your skills that fit their job descriptions.
Compile several reference lists with a good variety of people and former business associates. Be sure to first ask each if you can use them as references.
Compose a comprehensive, catchy and succinct cover letter of no more than a page (this is no place to ramble). It will introduce you and your desire to work for the company. Have a knowledgeable friend check it for errors; misspelled words and bad grammar hint at carelessness and indifference. Know what the company does, and highlight skills, work experience and education that apply to the position. Be aware that many employers now accept only online applications so get comfortable with computers.
Maintain a positive, professional and broad-based presence on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn; almost all employers search social media sites to vet job candidates, and your absence there will raise red flags. Also be very, very aware that images and comments posted spur-of-the-moment can be searched out forever and come back to haunt you.
Be prepared for an interview at any time. When you submit your application, a supervisor may want to talk immediately, or the phone may ring with a call from a hiring director. Compose — and rehearse — your one-minute self-promotional speech on who you are, an achievement or two and your strengths. It’s not vanity to make a good first impression. If a supervisor wants to know why she should hire you, be ready.
Always follow up with thank-you letters and calls. Even today, a letter as well as the quick-response email will separate you from a surprising number of the other applicants — to your advantage — and keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Judicious calls display your continued interest. Writing out beforehand what you want to say helps. So does rehearsal.
Be aware that due to the usually huge numbers of applicants, most companies are able to follow up only with candidates in whom they are interested. Don’t take it personally if you’re not notified that you didn’t get the job.
MCB Camp Lejeune Civilian Opportunities
Visit www.usajobs.gov to search for Department of Defense jobs at MCB Camp Lejeune. Or visit the Human Resources Office East aboard Camp Lejeune at the Main Gate, 33 Holcomb Blvd. (910-451-5840).
Marine Corps Community Services’ Human Resources Division is in Building 1401 on West Road and offers nonappropriated fund job listings and training. For more information, contact the job information line at 910-451-5627 or visit www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/jobs and click on “Human Resources.” All applicants for employment are required to meet certain eligibility requirements including a criminal background check and the provision of appropriate identification documents. Positions are available in areas such as retail sales, food service, maintenance, finance and accounting, recreation, counseling and much more.
For Base Exchange jobs, visit the AAFES career page and search for Camp Lejeune.
Small Business and Technology Development Center
The Small Business Development Center at UNC Wilmington offers personalized business counseling and strategy development services for those looking to start a small or mid-sized business or expand an existing one. Visit www.sbtdc.org or call 919-962-3744 for more information.
In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered the creation of BusinessUSA, a one-stop platform for small businesses to get the services they need to make good hires and to grow. The service now offers personalized information and links on how to start a business, obtain financing, look into exporting, expand, find opportunities, learn about health care changes, be aware of taxes and credits, get help with hires, and ferret out regulations and green opportunities. BusinessUSA is especially interested in increasing ownership among veterans, women, the socially and economically disadvantaged, Native Americans and Alaska Natives.