DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham County Department of Social Services held an event Saturday geared at filling what they say are "critical jobs."
Dozens of applicants filled the Human Services building as the DSS is looking to hire the people who will be responsible for granting access to critical social programs.
"Income maintenance positions are very critical because the individuals in these positions are touching the community," DSS Senior HR Analyst James Hart said.
Hart said with over 30 current vacancies events like this are vital.
"It has become a little bit harder to retain these positions because those who fill them are also competitive for a lot of other types of roles, whether that's private sector or public sector," He said. "And so we're having to get creative around how we recruit and how."
Hart said it's not just about finding qualified applicants, but it's about finding people who are representatives of the communities they'll be serving.
"There are a lot of skill sets that we value that come from different communities. And so we are seeing some of them come through the door. And we definitely want to hire a diverse background and workforce," He said.
People like Martia Carroll who was among the more than a hundred hopefuls looking to land a job, and help her County in the process.
"I came out here because I'm actually looking to make a difference in the community. I have done social work like as far as nonprofit, but I would love to provide information to people that -- help them advance themselves in life," Carroll said.
She said she knows from experience the importance of the role caseworkers play.
"I think it's extremely important because the lack of knowledge...You can't do anything if you don't know. So when you're aware of it, you can go out and seek these opportunities and better yourself," Carroll said.
DSS said they had over 100 interviews lined up during the hiring event, and they hope to fill their current vacancies in the next month.