New job seekers’ success may come close to home

Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:43am

On Friday morning, about 1,600 students at Vanderbilt University received their diplomas and either will enter the workforce or go on with their education.

For those seeking jobs in Nashville, the market remains strong in the face of a sluggish economy that has seen companies shed jobs.

Nashville’s job market seems to track with the trend in the national economy. Construction jobs have been declining, though not at the same pace elsewhere in the country. Manufacturing jobs everywhere dip when the national economy slumps.

But health care companies and firms in professional and technical services continue to add people.

Unemployment hovers around 5 percent, tracking just a little lower than the Nashville average.

Nancy Eisenbrandt, senior vice president of workforce development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said hiring is still strong in information technology, technical services and healthcare.

“There are even jobs in manufacturing,” Eisenbrandt said.

She said there’s strong need for people in plant maintenance. There continues to be a need for nurses and there’s a shortage of truck drivers.

“The magic is between those specific skills, talents and what companies are looking for, particularly in those service sectors,” she said.

Sales jobs have been tougher to find unless they involve medical and pharmaceutical sales.

“In fact, they’ve added to a lot of territories,” said Jeff Giuliano, president of Giuliano Recruiting Group.

He specializes in the health care industry.

“Health care doesn’t ever seem to change,” Giuliano said. “The demand (from companies) for the jobs hasn’t changed. I continue to pick and choose who I work with.”

He said most of the recruiting he’s done in the Nashville area involves finding professionals to fill clinical jobs for companies doing research on new drugs.

Cindy Funk, director of the Vanderbilt Career Center, said graduates who have actively looked for work haven’t had a difficult time finding jobs but the process has taken a little longer.

“We didn’t see any offers rescinded,” she said, adding that even the financial industry is still hiring.

The students could spread out everywhere and there’s no data yet on how many will stay in Nashville and who landed what jobs. Still, Nashville is one of the top four places for students to consider, Funk says. Chicago, Atlanta and New York City are the others.

Some of the graduates will head off to law school. Eisenbrandt said that is one profession where more aren’t needed.

“There’s just an oversupply of people going into that,” she said.

Filed under: City Business
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By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Please note that college graduates are not flocking toward the tourism industry yet Metro keeps a laser focus on spending as much money as possible subsidizing the industry of low-pay and even lower benefits.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It's a tourist town, or didn't you get the memo?

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 6:00

it is a tourist town with most of the money being made in healthcare, education, and other money paying industries. Unfortunately for tourism there is a large, prominent number of employees who are also on public assistance. Yet it is the tourism industry which is the focus of downtown government capital spending. We can waste tourism money anywhere and be just as efficient (judging by the turnover in lower Broadway and 2nd ave real estate), wonder why we choose to do it in downtown? In fact why do we tax the users of the motels in Hermitage and other far flung locales for the benefit of its constantly failing competition in downtown?

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 6:00

tourism is the third largest industrial employer in Metro behind government and service (healthcare being the largest segment of that industry locally). Did you get that memo or were you blinded by the tacky souvenirs for sale on Broadway or Music Valley? It would be nice if we were to invest in the information industry locally so it too could pass tourism and make out economy even stronger. Unfortunately that would require a stronger focus on education. Conversely an educated workforce hurts the tourist industry which depends on the low education/self-esteeem crowd for a majority of it's cut rate labor pool. A jealous tourism industry would explain the lack of progress in Nashville school funding and accomplishments though.