Cover Story: DNC Charlotte - Now hiring?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Party on DNC.  The Democrats unveil their plan for the Queen City.

But will it mean jobs for thousands of people looking for work?

Less than a year from now tens of thousands of pundits, politicians and party faithful will crowd Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

On Tuesday Mayor Anthony Foxx laid out the welcome mat.

"To the nation, and to the world - welcome to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Welcome to the Carolinas, welcome to the future, welcome to Charlotte," Foxx said.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz was here for the kickoff.

There is a lot of work ahead.  $36 million must be raised for the party.  But when you talk about work in this town, people think jobs.

Many are hoping this convention will lead to a paycheck.

With the city battling high-unemployment organizers are hoping this convention will not only raise the city's standing in the world but boost the fortunes of people here as well.

Everything from gas stations, to stores, to hotels stand to reap a windfall when Charlotte rolls out the welcome mat to the Democrats and the world.

"It'll be a great opportunity for the city and its businesses."

Denver, Colorado struck gold with the DNC three years ago.

Apart from the Convention, Denver hosted more than 1,200 events:  concerts, parades, protests and special activities.

As Robyn Hamilton the Charlotte Host Committee's director of business relations says there's an opportunity for employers and employees.

"We're going to need all sorts of businesses," she said.  "So there is no small.. too big. There's going to be a lot of different sources of opportunities that are going to come."

That's what Genie Hufham is hoping.  She and a business partner Mary Schultz run a small tour guide business called "Charlotte Crown Guides."

"We are hoping we will see a lot of business from this convention," said Hufham.

"It's going to offer us opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise had," said Schultz.

The convention is expected to bring $150 million into the Charlotte region's economy.  Making sure local businesses get a piece of the action the Charlotte in 2012 Committee rolled out on its home page a "Vendor Directory."

"It's the most robust tool used in any convention thus far."

Steve Kerrigan CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee says the Vendor Directory will be the clearinghouse convention organizers will use when looking for companies to do convention work.

Once businesses are registered they'll be in a data base not only the convention will use but also delegates and other visitors to Charlotte can access before they get here.

"Some of the relationships and the connections that are made as a result of the vendor directory are going to be huge. They are huge part of the long-lasting economic legacy that we hope to leave behind," said Kerrigan.

With the countdown clock at 362 days and the DNC unveiling its official logo Tuesday organizers are certain Charlotte can cash in come convention time.

"I would say to the business people.. keep your doors open.. get excited," said David Parker, chairman of the NC Democratic Party.  "This is going to be good stuff."

DNC Organizers expect about 5,000 companies might list their services and experience in the Vendor Directory.

35,000 people.. delegates, politicians, media and everyone in between from 50 states and around the world are expected to descend on Charlotte next year.

You can find the Vendor Directory at

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