Tech job hunters seek opportunities at Durham fair

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 07:22 PM

For the first time in 28 years, Bernita Nichols said she’s looking for a job since the closure of the Flextronics Americas contract electronics manufacturing plant in Creedmoor, where the company made Redbox kiosks.

At a job fair at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center held Wednesday to showcase openings of Triangle technology companies, Nichols said she found companies with software development and other technology-related openings, as well as employers looking for a range of certifications in potential candidates.

She said she’s looking for business management positions, and said she believes the job market is tight because of a large number of job seekers. She highlighted the importance of job seekers tailoring their résumés.

“It’s tight merely because of the number of people who are looking,” she said.

Hosted by the N.C. Technology Association, along with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Work in the Triangle initiative, the fair included 37 area technology companies.

Brooks Raiford, president and CEO of the association, said that the fair was open only to employers with openings. He said the openings included technology jobs as well as in marketing and jobs in other areas.

Raiford said he has heard that supply still exceeds demand in non-technology jobs, but there’s competition among employers for technology workers. He said he has also heard of a concern of employers poaching high-demand skilled workers from other companies rather than hiring from the ranks of the unemployed.

There have been month-to-month gains in technology-related openings in the state this year, but numbers have not returned to levels seen at this time last year, he said.

According to the association’s job trends report by SkillProof Inc. and sponsored by The Select Group, there were 3,930 information technology openings in the state in March. That was down 30 percent year-over-year, but up 5.6 percent from February.

There is typically a dip in the fourth quarter due to seasonal hiring patterns, Raiford said. He said he believes monthly gains in technology openings in January, February and March could mean permanent, sustainable hiring is going on.

Durham resident Anu Abey said he’s a Java developer who has been looking for work for about a month. He said he got some good feedback at Wednesday’s job fair, and felt that companies were impressed by his profile. He said he believes it is competitive in the technology field, there’s a lot of opportunity, but many people are applying at this time.

He spoke of a need to broaden his experience with Java.

Richard Corridore of Raleigh said he’s seeking an information technology management position. Corridore said that he believes this is a good, growing area with a lot of technology companies. However, he said the job market is difficult, and there are too few positions. He said companies can be very specific about the type of candidate that they’re looking for.

“The job market is not recovered; it’s still very difficult,” he said.