The South Carolina unemployment rate increased slightly at the end of last year to 8.4% and in Beaufort County it also increased to 7.2%.
But there may be good news for teachers in the lowcountry.
The Beaufort County School District was looking for its latest crop of teaching candidates at its annual career fair in Bluffton, Saturday. More than 200 teachers came out to interview. and teacher Kirsten Hendershott says she understands why so many people want to teach here.
“I love the island, I have never left Ashland before, my hometown. I was born and raised there, spent 21 years of my life there, and I think that Bluffton and Beaufort County offers a very homey feel. It's small town but still has a lot of activities going on.”
Hundreds of teachers will come through Bluffton High School this afternoon in search of a full-time position, but for one teacher she says her first career fair is a success even if she doesn't get the job.
“It's my first job fair and its been a great experience, everybody's been so friendly, and it takes a lot of the pressure off of the stuffy suit, and tie, you can dress a little more casual yet professional, but it takes off the edge of performing, since you have two different interviews. In the first you can shake off your jitters, and in the second one bring your a game,” said Hendershott.
And everyone was trying to bring their “A” game and get on the list of candidates for any upcoming positions–the district isn't sure how many positions will be open but this fair was about narrowing the field.
“The most difficult part was probably figuring out how to answer questions, because you always want to give them what they want to hear, but that's not how you should interview, you should really bring the aspects of your personality and your teaching style to the table.”
Officials say because teachers renew contracts in the spring they are not sure how many openings they will have to fill or when. but representatives from all of the schools in the district were on-site, interviewing potential teachers.