Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hundreds Bet On New Careers At Aqueduct - Asa Aarons -

Unemployed New Yorkers recently headed out to Aqueduct Race Track in hopes of winning big in the job market. NY1's Asa Aarons filed the following Employment Report.

Queens' Aqueduct Race Track is traditionally a place for betting, playing the odds and hopefully winning. Recently, the track hosted a job fair where people seemed to be betting on their talents in hopes of winning employment.

The event gathered hundreds of vendors to reach out to the unemployed. Health care companies topped the list of active recruiters.

"We have home health aide positions. We're looking for people to go to work in the homes, taking care of patients, the most vulnerable. So we're looking for people that really are caring, are compassionate and want to do this and make a difference in someone's life," said Jeanne O'Donnell of Progressive Home Health Services.

"Our organization here is to connect you. It doesn't matter if you're Chinese or you're Japanese or you're Hispanic. We connect you for business purposes. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, we can do that," said Shanie Persaud of the Guyanese and American Business and Professional Council.

The mission of the job fair was not only about finding new employment, but finding a new direction.

Whole sections were set aside for career counselors, and workshops specializing in transitional employment. The added educational touch was the brainchild of New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

"It was also important to me that if I couldn't find them a job today to try and help them find a job in the future," Addabbo said. "So we had seminars. Seminars based on career changes, or how to improve your resume or interview techniques."

The counselors also shared excellent advice for older job seekers.

"Small and mid size companies need people with experience because they can't afford to hire five or six people with different job titles. You have those five or six things in one person and they need you," said Workbook One Career Center Senior Career Advisor Joseph Ross.

"It's motivating me. And so I can possibly go back into seeing the other recruiters," said job seeker Denise Emanuel.

"They say that the economy is bad. But if you look at this fair it tells you that there are jobs out there. And people should go for them," said job seeker Emmanuel Bandoh.

Perhaps it was the added business recruiters, perhaps the educational workshops. Maybe it was being in a place where people can win big. Whatever the reason, the job seekers appeared to be feeling positive and lucky.