Job Fairs Draw Record Numbers

By CityTownInfo Staff
April 15, 2009

The Winston-Salem Journal reports on a job fair held this week at the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.  Donna Coffey, formerly of Corning Cable Systems, was one of 5,250 people to turn out for the event.  Even still, organizers had anticipated 6,000 attendees, given the 11.5 unemployment rate in the local area. Coffey's income has been significantly reduced since she is no longer with Corning. "I just want to get my foot in the door somewhere," she said.  Job seekers ranged in age from late 30s to early 60s.  Anthony Hilton has been on the job search for more than a year and says the search process is getting increasingly impersonal. "I know times are tough because I'd been let go before and I would bounce back pretty quickly," he said. "You used to get to put a face to a name, get a chance to build a rapport with the interviewer, before you dealt with the paperwork.

The Union Leader reports on a Claremont, Vermont job fair. Held at River Valley Community College, many attendees arrived before doors open for fear of being turned away. "Right at 9 a.m., we had people lined up about halfway down the hall," said Jim Henson, who works for the New Hampshire Department of Education finding job placements for people with disabilities. "I think this crew wasn't going to be turned away, so they came early."  Some job seekers had specific targets in mind, like Lisa LeCuyler who was looking for work in the automotive field. Other's were not as selective, like Floyd Bristol and Clifford Sweet, both homeless. "I'm not being picky; I need a job," said Bristol, 22. "I just got out of jail and I have a daughter to raise."

In Manchester, New Hampshire over 10,000 people turned out for a job fair on April 9, according to The Boston Herald. Organizers expected five thousand, but double that number of attendees jammed traffic for miles and forced admissions to be cut off after just the first two hours. Commenting on the attendance related problems the Concord Monitor observed that "with similar events scheduled around the state, planners should consider some way to fairly limit the turnout.

The job fair drumbeat continues in Kentucky and Florida.  The Kentucky Post reports on a tax day job fair at the Sharonville Convention Center where 2,000 are expected to attend, and encouraged to dress to impress. Organizers have announced that admittance "may be denied to anyone wearing inappropriate attire, such as shorts, jeans, or flip flops. The Sun Sentinel of South Florida reports on another tax day job fair in Miami, where Carnival Cruise Lines, the U.S. Military and Humana will be among thirty companies looking for employees. The Miami job fair  part of Monster.com's "Keep America Working Tour", a series of more than 140 job fairs being held across the United States.

Job fairs can be career specific as well.  ABC12 News reports on the Genesee County 12th annual Criminal Justice Career Fair.  Hundreds of law enforcement personnel attended but as police officer hopeful Shawn Uncker said, "There's not a lot of hiring going on right now, but there's a lot of people talking to you and they let you know what's going on in the police force."

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