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Chiquita Kicks Off Hiring Process

Chiquita says it will bring 400 jobs to Charlotte when the company moves its headquarters here. It expects to fill half of those locally. The application process kicked off last week.

Chiquita has to fill a whole lot of positions quickly. The company is looking for people to help with administrative support, customer service and finance and accounting.

But Chiquita isn't doing all the human resources lifting. A group called Charlotte Works, which administers Mecklenburg County's federal workforce development funds, has created an online tool to help screen applicants.

Here's how it works: Applicants submit their resumes online at www.ChiquitaCharlotte.com. Then, they answer some questions about their background. The program ranks them and then someone from Chiquita looks over the applications.

The top two hundred or so will be invited to attend an event later this month with Chiquita recruiters. Eleven hundred people have already applied.

The tool cost Charlotte Works a couple thousand dollars to design.

The group's CEO Steve Partridge says Charlotte Works will also try to help applicants who don't make the cut.

"If this were just a tool to help one company find their people, we're going to try to do that obviously. But our long term goal is to get everyone in Charlotte back to work with the best fit," says Patridge. "So we'll reach out to those that were close or those who are farther down to see what we can do to help them get to that next level they were looking for."

Patridge says that help may include connecting them with job training or polishing resumes.