Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thousands Hope For Opportunities At Queens Job Fair - NY1.com

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Hundreds of businesses and thousands of people flocked to a job fair in South Ozone Park, Queens, and the applicants armed with resumes and patience tried to stand out where it was standing-room only. NY1's Tetiana Anderson filed the following report.

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Some 3,800 people waited in line Friday at a job fair in South Ozone Park, Queens to hope to find work.
Job applicant Sharon Jones felt like only one of a crowd dropping off resumes and picking up contacts.
“Everybody goes around the circle and goes back around and you're right on top of the interviewer. Nobody has any privacy, it's like speed dating,” she said.
With the city's unemployment rate at 9.3 percent, it might have been easier to find a date than a job among the 250 employers from all kinds of companies gathered at the Aqueduct race track.
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo said he started hosting the job fair three years ago to help people get employed or make the right contacts so they can get work later.
“We’re still kind of sluggish on the city, state and federal level. But when the economy picks up, we’ll have the job growth, but for now we need to get through these tough times,” said Addabbo.
Three friends who had seven degrees between them came together to the fair, but still felt that finding work is hard work.
“We're out of jobs and everyone is saying, 'Oh, we need teachers, we need social workers, we need guidance counselors.' We are the teachers, we are the guidance counselors,” said one of the friends.
Since he started the event, Addabbo said the number of clients and vendors may have doubled, and for some, so have the opportunities.
“There was actually several people that said, 'We don’t have anything, but we know somebody who might be interested in a person with your qualifications,'” said applicant Michael O'Brian.

Addabbo said the goal is to create more than 1,000 job opportunities for the people motivated enough to come out on Friday.
Whether in expanding fields like health care, security and holiday season retail work, no matter what the industry, employment experts said a job applicant has about seven seconds to make a good impression.
“The employer will change their minds about 11 times in that seven seconds, so you really want to hit them with appearance, behavior and communication,” said CEO Catherine Schuller of Your Image Power.
Even if the masses who turned out on Friday did not find opportunities at the job fair, many still left with hope.
“I think the cream of the crop rise to the top, so it's just a matter of time,” said applicant Winston Hayden.
The networking will continue long after the event, as Addabbo said he will keep working to connect the vendors with good people looking for work.