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CommUniversity Draws Large Crowd

Sara Bell passes out information about Caregivers of the Upstate while her partner, Elizabeth Moeller, looks on.

The businesses, churches and organizations that participate in CommUniversity at Lander University have different reasons for being there. Some are looking for employees, volunteers, or new members. Others are there to acquaint students with services they provide, or to discuss issues of one kind or another.

About 45 community members came to Lander on Sept. 6 for this year’s event, according to Lex Hall, representing Student Affairs.

“A lot of the people are still coming in,” Hall, a business major from Chapin, said.

Food Lion store manager Jeremy Fuller found “15 to 18 associates” after attending last year’s event.

“I’m looking to hire probably about 20 to 25 this year,” he said.

Food Lion offers tuition reimbursement of up to $3000 for full-time employees and up to $500 for part-timers.

“That’s been a real big hit this year,” he said.

Stephen Harrington, general manager for Sports Break, has participated in CommUniversity for as long as the event has been held.

“It seems like every year, I get one employee that sticks with me for three or four years while they’re attending Lander, and that in itself makes it worth it to me,” he said.

He was looking for “servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, food runners and hostesses,” as well as people to help with Sports Break’s catering operation.

“I’d love to get another four or five today,” he said.

Caregivers of the Upstate was looking for part-time workers to provide home health care in Greenwood and the surrounding counties. It’s a popular job with the hundreds of nursing students who attend Lander, according to co-owner Elizabeth Moeller.

“We offer flexible hours that work around their schedules,” she said.

United Way of the Lakelands was on the hunt for interns and volunteers.

“We’re always looking for students to come in and help out,” Community Impact Manager Jilisa Cade said.

Alex Clayton, of Neighbors United Federal Credit Union, was on campus to talk about money management.

“We’re here to help college students and guide them through the financial world that they’ll be experiencing soon,” he said.

Janet Balsinger, with David Crotts and Associates of Greenwood, came to talk about insurance.

“We know that a lot of college kids are coming off their parents’ coverage, and they need their own policies now,” she said.

Leaving home for the first time, relationships and bad grades can cause problems for college students, according to Dray Wideman, director of Community Support for Beckman Mental Health Center.

Counseling services like those the Beckman Center offers “can help them get back to where they need to be,” she said.