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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Christy Gillenwater is president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

A new website that connects local job-seekers to work and training opportunities and sells the story of the Scenic City to folks considering a move launched this week as part of the work of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

"Area employers tell us they are hiring, and they're asking for help to locate great job candidates," said Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce in a statement announcing the launch of Chattanooga Calling.com. "Jobless numbers tell the story of the fallout from the pandemic and we know people need jobs right now."

After declining steadily for five months from the record high jobless rate reached in April, unemployment rose again in the Chattanooga area in October as an influx of workers looking for jobs outpaced the growth in employment.

The unemployment rate in the six-county Chattanooga region rose to 5.7% in October, up from 5.2% in September. However, the area jobless rate is still less than half the record high 13.3% reached in April after the coronavirus pandemic shut down many restaurants, stores and factories this spring.

On Wednesday, the site listed 2,282 available jobs.

The pandemic has created opportunities to recruit remote workers seeking a break from big-city life in a mid-sized city, said Charles Wood, vice president of economic development.

Chattanooga Calling

ChattanoogaCalling.com is a new website from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce to help local residents find jobs fast.

"We're an urban community in a relatively attractive location from an outdoor perspective, but not so dense it creates concerns from a health perspective," he said.

But while recruiting remote workers from elsewhere is a growing focus of the Chamber, the training and employment of local workers is the top priority, Wood added.

"This in no way takes away from the pipeline development of local talent," he said.

The site features open jobs in Chattanooga, information on area programs from educational institutions, and data on earning potential and job availability. Some website pages also feature information in Spanish.

"ChattanoogaCalling.com brings education and training opportunities together in one easy-to-find spot," said Molly Blankenship, executive director of Chattanooga 2.0 and vice president of talent initiatives for the Chamber. "We hope job seekers will use this resource to find work fast."

Staff Writer Dave Flessner contributed to this story.

Contact Mary Fortune at mfortune@timesfreepress.com. Follow her on Twitter at @maryfortune.

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