Cover Story: US Economy - Hot Jobs

By Jeff Atkinson - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With North Carolina's unemployment rate almost 11-percent, WBTV is on your side investigating what jobs are out there.  What are the "hot" jobs?  PrimeTime's Jeff Atkinson tells you what jobs you should be looking for and who can help you get there.

You want to find what jobs are hot.. remember these four words-- follow the money trail.  Look at where you spend your money.  And look at where your government is spending money.  And that's where you'll find the jobs.

When the 787 billion dollar stimulus package was signed into law three months ago.. roads and bridges.. and education received a lot of attention.

But there are billions in the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" for job creation.

And if you're looking for a hot job right now.. Pat Nash.. Director of Career Services at Central Piedmont Community College has some words for you.

"We're telling people that they need to watch what's going on with the government right now.  You need to look at what is being spent on the stimulus plan," she says.

Money's flowing to the states for health and human services.. jobs connected to assisting seniors and reaching the unemployed.  Green jobs.. to make buildings more energy efficient.  And in homeland security and public safety.  Jobs like police officers, firefighters and in the military.

The federal government's also offering homeowners and businesses tax credits to install new technologies like solar energy.  Jobs in solar installation and sales are hot now.

But it's not stimulus alone.. President Obama's 2010 budget increases funding for nearly every arm of government.

Social Security... to hire additional employees to work through a backlog of cases.  The V.A.  And a number of other government acronyms.. the EPA.. FDA and even the FBI.

"The government is playing a key role in some of what's happening."

Nash says not since FDR have we seen so much money coming in from the federal government to put people to work.

But Uncle Sam's not the only one.

Career experts say look where you're spending money in this recession.. and chances are those are the companies and business that are hot and are hiring.

Some examples, Walmart's adding stores and jobs.  Locally-based Family Dollar is doing well in this recession.  And Carmax had a representative on CPCC's campus today looking to fill openings.

But Pat Nash says don't limit it there...

She says, "You need to think outside the box and not just apply to the household names in companies but look at some small businesses that might be recovering and hiring at this point."

Central Piedmont Community College has launched a website that specifically lists the jobs that are in demand.. some of the ones we mentioned in our story. (Healthcare, public safety, information technology)

If you go in there.. it directs you to course they offer that you can take to get a job in those fields.

Go to

CPCC is also offering a series of workshops on Job Search Topics, 25 different workshops on various topics.  The workshops are free.