By SAMANTHA COSSICK
April 13, 2011 Staff writer
As a sign of economic improvement, more than 100 vendors and employers were on hand Thursday to take resumes, give out applications and answer questions during the 2nd Annual Here to Help Job Fair.
Held in Greencastle last year, the fair was limited to 50 vendors. To allow for more employers, it was moved to the Chambersburg Mall, said fair sponsor Sen. Richard Alloway.
As the “complete package for personal growth,” the fair featured employers, education services, human resource services and more from Franklin, Cumberland and Adams counties as well as Washington County, Md., he said.
“I hear from employers all the time, ‘Hey, we’re hiring, we’re looking for good people,’” Alloway said. “This thing for me isn’t just about employment, it’s about betterment. You may have someone that has a job but is looking to better themselves or get some more education.”
Dave Argueso, Chambersburg, was filling out an application at the fair where he was looking for a new job after finding out his current employer will be consolidating and cutting his job.
“Most employers have been very friendly and helpful,” he said.
Thursday’s fair was one of the biggest job fairs Argueso said he’s attended, adding that the casual atmosphere helps with networking.
“You tend to connect more. There’s more one-on-one consulting,” he said.
Joy Jones and Mike Nunez, both of Chambersburg, were inquiring at Randstad when they found out about the job fair. Both were filling out applications Thursday for a new-full-time job. “Things like this get the economy and up going again,” Jones said.
The fair provided a good bit of variety in terms of employment opportunities and made it easy to apply, Nunez said.
“Unemployment is ridiculous,” he said. “Plus people are lazy and don’t always go looking for a job.”
Evon Wiseman, who’s working with CareerLink to get her GED, was looking for a part-time job while his son, Billy, filled out applications for a full-time job.
The fair setting makes the job search more convenient and it’s easier to ask questions and find out information, Evon Wiseman said.
“He’s seen some (jobs) he didn’t even think he would be able to do,” she said.
All employers at the fair had several jobs they were looking to fill, ranging from part-time to full-time and some hiring for the first time in years.
“Work is picking up and we have spots to fill. This is the first we’ve actually hired since really the downturn in the economy,” said Claudia Heefner, human resources manager at Nitterhouse Masonry Products, LLC.
Throughout the day, Heefner said she was able to talk with various applicants and collect a file of resumes and applications for the various positions.
After they were successful in finding good applicants last year, Summit Physician Services decided to come back again to recruit locally for open positions.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how well prepared people are,” said Tammy Seville, director of human resources. “Everyone I’ve asked a resume for has had it.”
The fair allows them to see first-hand what type of job an applicant’s personality may be suited for, Seville said.
This was one of the first community-wide fairs that Target Distribution has attended instead of their usual college career fairs, said Heather Coleman, human resources business representative.
The representatives were there looking for applicants for permanent full-time positions at their distribution center and store, she said.
“There’s a lot of people out here looking and they’re interested,” Coleman said. “We’re looking for people in the community that are looking for long-term employment. To get out here and meet people face-to-face, it definitely helps.”
Pest Patrol was at the fair reaching out to people who may be looking for spring and summer part-time work.
“Last spring and summer, we had three to five part-timers working with us so there’s a lot of holes to fill,” said Marshall Gilbert, commercial applicator.
Although they asked applicants to e-mail in their resume, the fair provided them a chance to meet and interact with potential employees, said Carrie Tharp, recruitment and development.
They took the chance to talk and interact with each interested person as they might interact on a day-to-day basis, she said.
“I think it works better this way as opposed to going to a job interview and being nervous in that setting,” Gilbert said.