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Posted: February 4, 2012 10:14 p.m.

Jobs announced at 'Ring the Bell' event

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Newton County businesses are hiring, and the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce is continuing its efforts to promote local job creation.

The chamber kicked off its “Ring the Bell” campaign Friday afternoon at the Historic Courthouse, where five companies announced they wanted to fill more than 20 jobs.

The greatest areas of need were skilled manufacturing labor and nurses, along with two website designers and developers.

After each company announced its jobs, a representative rang a bell, procured by the chamber, to make the announcement official.

“Throughout history the ringing of a bell signified that there was an announcement, that there was information that needed (sic) to be shared, that there was a cause that needed to be rallied around, and we are ringing this bell for the creation of jobs in Newton County,” said Chamber President Hunter Hall.

Hall appealed to Newton County’s 5,468 unemployed, inviting them to work with the county’s various partners, including the Covington office of the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Perimeter and Georgia Piedmont Technical colleges and Troy University.

He also reached out to the 72 percent of Newton County residents who commute out of the county.

“We want you to know there are jobs here right now that you can apply for. We want you to ditch the commute,” Hall said.

Friday’s event was recorded and posted on the chamber’s You Tube channel, youtube.com/user/NewtonChamber. Hall said he hopes the video and campaign will go viral. The video had been viewed 75 times as of early Saturday afternoon.

The idea for “Ring the Bell” came from another chamber in South Georgia, which would ring the town square’s bell after people had been hired. Hall modified the idea to ring the bell when jobs were posted to help businesses connect with potential employees.

The hope is that local companies will hire local residents. Recently, State Farm Agent Dan Babb hired a new sales agent out of Porterdale, while Beyond Exterminating Owner Jeremy Shearer hired two technicians locally.

“That might not sound like much, but those are three jobs. Those are three families that just got their mortgage paid. Those are three grocery bills. Those are three kids that possibly just signed up with Newton County Recreation to play Little League baseball,” said Hall. “Those are real lives. That’s what job creation does in our community.”

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