Unemployment rates in Lancaster County are up and the economy is suffering, but at least one Panhandle business is continuing to hire employees.
PCI Group moved to the Panhandle from Long Island, New York, in September. The family-owned direct mail company, headed by owner Chris Kropac, brought 25 of its employees with it, but immediately began the process of hiring more than 60 new workers.
Many of what Kropac calls his "worker bees," come from Fort Mill and Rock Hill. Much of the company's management team came with Kropac from Long Island, though some have been hired from Charlotte, he said.
Finding people interested in a job isn't hard, Kropac said, but finding people who are interested in working for the company long-term can be difficult. Many people are coming to Kropac after being laid off from higher paying jobs and are hoping to get temporary work at PCI Group while looking for something that's more in their field.
He prefers to have employees with him for the long run.
"You have to dig a little deeper in this economy," Kropac said. "I ask people, 'Why are you willing to take this job if you're overqualified?' I say, 'Yes, you need a job, but that's not what I'm looking for, a temporary worker.' I'm a career company."
According to Kropac, understanding the workforce has been his greatest challenge. So far, he said he has found the workforce here to be less motivated than he was used to on Long Island.
"They need to understand the importance of coming in every day and having a job," Kropac said.
Kropac said he still needs between five and 10 more employees. PCI Group offers mainly 12 hour shifts at assembly line jobs working with machinery that stuffs envelopes and prepares direct mail pieces. It can be monotonous, he said, and people either love it or hate it.
"We're looking for people with experience in our world, and experience at almost any job. If they're a good employee we'll put them in here someplace," Kropac said.
In return for loyalty and hard work, Kropac said he offers respect toward his employees and a clean, comfortable work environment.
"You don't want someone to hate to come to work," Kropac said. "You want to feel good about coming to work and that's what we try to do. I try to foster a good work environment, and it's still work, but you can't dread coming to work."
Looking for work?
For more information about careers at PCI Group, e-mail a resume to email@example.com or fax a resume to 803-578-7676, attention Human Resources.