Area residents filled the parking lot at The Mill at Lebanon, created their own parking spaces and even packed lots nearby Thursday in hopes of being hired by Amazon during the companys most recent job fair.
Lines filled the floor of The Mill and wrapped around walls with people even waiting outside the door an hour before the event to get the first spots in line. Melinda Williams, administrator of marketing and outreach for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said they had already seen well in excess of 1,000 people during the first two hours.
We estimate over 2,800 came through the event today. It was a huge success, Williams said.
She noted, We had them outside the doors at 8 a.m., waiting to get in.Williams said Amazon is looking to hire up to 2,000 people and said there are currently 1,800 seasonal and temporary positions available at the companys fulfillment center in Lebanon.
Applicants had to be 18 years or older, speak fluent English without a translator and have proof of obtaining a GED or high school diploma. SMX Management, a staffing agency in charge of hiring for Amazon, repeatedly walked through the mass of people to repeat qualifications.
Its obvious that people want to work, and there are a lot of unemployed people out there, Williams said.
Wilson Countys most recent unemployment data showed 4,950 individuals were unemployed locally. The unemployment rate for August was 8.1 percent, up from 7.9 percent in the previous month.
The job fair had previously been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6, but was moved when Gov. Bill Haslam announced an agreement with Amazon for the company to collect and remit sales taxes by 2014.
Williams said the partnership between Amazon and the Department of Labor has been very beneficial for the state and the local community. She pointed out The Mill was full all day as people showed up to apply for jobs.
Although the available positions are seasonal or temporary, Williams said its a chance for people to get their foot in the door. With the holiday season coming up, she said its the best time to hire people. The holiday season is the busiest and most profitable time of the year for retailers, and she said it will also give people money to spend during the season.
Its an opportunity for people to possibly get hired full-time with experience, she said.
Amazon is also reportedly the Project Tango company that has been recruited by Lebanon and Wilson County the past several months. Amazon could possibly locate another facility here that could employee either another 500 or 1,000 people next year.
By PATRICK HALL / Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joel Taz DiGregorio, 67, longtime keyboard player and vocalist for The Charlie Daniels Band, died Wednesday night as a result of injuries he sustained in a single car accident on Interstate 40 in Cheatham County.
DiGregorio was reportedly driving to meet the CDB tour bus for at trip to Cumming, Ga., for a concert appearance at the Cumming Country Fair and Festival Oct. 13.
I am in shock now, Taz was one of my best friends, said Wilson County resident Charlie Daniels via a release on the CDB website.
The CDB family has lost a great friend and musician. We traveled many miles together and shared so many nights on the road. Were going to miss you buddy. You were one of a kind and will never be forgotten. We send our deepest condolences to the family.
Born in Worchester, Mass, DiGregorio was member of the CDB for more than 40 years and was a co-writer of the bands mega-hit The Devil Went Down to Georgia. He and Daniels were the only two remaining members of the original Charlie Daniels Band.
The CDB cancelled concerts scheduled for Oct. 13 in Georgia and Saturday, Oct. 15 in Waterbury, Conn.
DiGregorio is the second member of the CDB to pass this year. In January, the bands guitar player, Tommy Crain, died at the age of 59 at his Franklin home.
No funeral arrangements for had been announced by press time.
Cumberlands football team will host Faulkner University in Saturdays 1:30 p.m. homecoming game at Lindsey Donnell Stadium.
The Bulldogs of Coach Dewayne Alexander come in ranked 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the MSC West (No. 20 in the NAIA) after winning 21-17 at Shorter last week.
Faulkner stands just 1-4 overall (0-2 in the MSC West) after having surrendered 547 yards in last weeks 45-27 loss to the Belhaven Blazers.
Dont think for a minute that the Eagles are your run-of-the-mill homecoming chump.
Faulkner will be trying to get their season turned around, said CU head coach Dewayne Alexander. All you have to do to get ready for Saturday is pop in the film from our game with them a year ago in Montgomery (a 20-17 Eagle overtime win).
They did everything they needed to do to hang in there with us. Theyre very athletic, theyve got a quality quarterback who has come in from Furman and they make you defend the entire field with the passing game.
Quarterback Josh Hollingsworth leads the NAIA with 354 yards passing per game and the Eagle offensive line has only allowed three sacks this year.
They protect their quarterback and they love the quick hitters, the stop routes, screens, slants -- the ball is coming out, Alexander said. Weve got to do a tremendous job of tackling and eliminating the yards after a catch.
You can give up a three-yard pass, but we cant let that pass turn into a 12 yard play due to a missed tackle.
By TOMMY BRYAN
MT. JULIET -- Wilson Central High defeated No. 1 seed Portland 3-2 thursday night to claim a third consecutive District 9AAA volleyball title.
Game scores: 19-25, 25-11, 25-23, 13-25, 15-8.
Wilson Central improved to 36-15 and earned the right to host the Region 5AAA tournament Tuesday, Oct. 18. The Lady Wildcats will play District 10AAA runner-up Dickson County Tuesday at 4 p.m. followed by Portland vs. Central at 5:30 p.m. The two winners will play for the region title at around 7 p.m.
Tournament MVP Kristin Cook had 24 kills and 12 digs for Central in the finals vs. Portland. Hannah Hinson added 35 assists and six digs while Dariyan Stallings was in on 13 digs and eight kills.
Wilson Central reached the tournament finals by eliminating Mt. Juliet High 3--0 Tuesday night in the 9AAA semifinals. Game scores: 25-20, 25-22 and 25-21.
Cook paced the Lady Wildcats with 18 kills, seven digs and three aces. Stallings chipped in with 12 digs, five kills, and ace and a block.
RED BOILING SPRINGS -- Fresh from claiming a third consecutive District 8A tournament championship, the Friendship Christian volleyball team will head to Celina for the first round of the Region 4A tournament on Tuesday.
Clay County will serve as the host team -- having won the District 7A tournament title.
District 8A tourney runner-up Watertown High will battle Clay County in the first round of the tournament Tuesday at 4 p.m. with Jackson County playing FCS at 5:30 p.m.
The winners of the first two matches will play for the regional championship Tuesday at 7 p.m.
FCS improved to 39-11 overall by defeating Watertown High 3-0 in the 8A tournament finals Tuesday night. Game scores were 25-14, 25-15 and 25-11 as Watertown dropped to 23-9 overall. BELOW -- Friendship's Samantha Finley -- photo by CHUCK THOMPSON
Watertown High will try to get back on the winning track tonight as the Purple Tigers host Gordonsville High in a Region 4A game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Robinson Stadium. Live radio coverage can be heard on WUCZ - FM 104.1.
Watertown is back down to Earth after a 54-14 loss last week at the hands of arch-rival Friendship Christian School. The loss left the Purple Tigers 6-1 overall, 4-1 in league play and snapped a six-game winning streak.
Gordonsvilles Tigers come in 5-2 overall after handling Westmoreland 45-14 a week ago. Gordonsville is 4-1 in the region and can take a step closer to the post season with a win tonight.
Mt. Juliet at Cookeville -- Coach Roger Perrys Golden Bears travel to Putnam County tonight to take on Cookeville High at Jelly Watson Stadium. The Bears, ranked No. 5 in Class 6A, improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in District 9AAA with another easy win -- a 45-7 decision at Station Camp. Cookeville is 5-2 after an off week.
Mt. Juliets three-headed running attack of Contrez McCathern, Caleb Hopkins and Jalen Graham are all juniors. McCathern has four 100-yard games this year, Hopkins has three and Graham has one.
And if Cookeville had any thoughts of loading up the box, senior quarterback Caleb Chowbay can quickly make them pay, having thrown for 14 touchdowns this season -- including four in the first half of last weeks win over Station Camp.
Theyre real solid in what they do, and theyre well-coached, Cookeville coach Jerry Joslin said. Theyre ranked fifth, theyre 7-0, and theyve beaten quality teams, so weve gotta be ready to play.
MJ Christian at DCA -- Mt. Juliet Christian Academy will be looking at a tall order tonight as the Saints travel down Highway 70 to take on Donelson Christian Academy. The Saints are 2-5 overall after an open week, while the Wildcats sport a record of 5-2 / 1-0 in the Middle Region of TSSAA D-II.