More than 1,000 new jobs coming to town

July 17, 2009 5:48:00 PM PDT
If you're looking for a job you know just how tough finding work can be right now. But there is good news. One local company is looking to hire about 1,000 new employees in the next few weeks. [FIND A JOB: See listings for jobs around the Houston area]
[WHAT TO DO: Avoid devastation if you get laid off]
[BY THE NUMBERS: State by state unemployment numbers]

Chi Haircare products are sold around the world, but the company is based right here in Houston. In the past, the company had factories in South Korea and China, but now the owner of the company is moving those overseas jobs back to Harris County.

It's not hard to find people out of work. Just visit any Texas Workforce Solutions office.

"I am an accounting/financial person," said Jackie Barnes, who is out of work. "I used to be a finance manager for Shell Oil in Deer Park, and when you get out of work, you are out of work, and I am not necessarily looking for a management position, but I am looking for something in the finance accounting field."

And those who are unemployed say it is especially hard to find work right now.

"I have been looking for work for a while now," said job seeker James Ivy. "I have been out of work for a while now. I just come up here every chance I get and put in an application, but very rarely do I get a phone call."

But jobs are coming to Houston, more than 1,000 of them at one manufacturing facility alone.

"We are hiring," said Farouk Shami, who owns Chi USA Haircare. "It is noon now. We already hired 30 people this day, today."

Shami is expanding the north Houston facility and will need hundreds of workers in the next few weeks.

"Hopefully within a year, we need over 1,277 jobs to be exact," he said. "That's how our human resource put it. We need all of the these jobs in Houston, Texas."

The jobs coming here include manufacturing positions, warehouse workers, electricians and sales staff. The employees there make straightening irons. From computer chip assembly to boxing up the final product, the entire thing is put together under one roof.

The expansion is happening because Shami is moving overseas manufacturing back to the United States, a move he says other companies should follow.

"We need to be good Americans," he said. "We need to be good citizens. We can sacrifice some of our profit and bring jobs."

That sounds good to those looking for work.

"I really need it, so right now would be a great time," said Ivy.

The positions will be filled during a job fair at the Chi USA facility on July 30. The owner expects hundreds of people to apply for the open positions, so many that they plan on operating a shuttle from the Greenspoint Mall to the facility.

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