Jobseekers search in Chester

April 15, 2009 3:20:17 PM PDT
From the moment the doors opened, jobseekers filed into City Hall for Chester's career fair. Each person stepped into the room seeking employment.

"Basically, I'm hoping that one of these companies here will pick me up," Dwayne Gardner said.

The job applicants varied. Some were underemployed. Some were laid off from companies they thought they'd retire from.

Denise Green Harrell is one of those jobseekers. Managing a mortgage and three children has been tough for Denise since losing her job.

"Ever since then, I've been hitting the pavement, trying to find something," Denise said.

Others are forced to look for a job in a different field.

"I was in school for nursing and I'm trying to find anything right now because there's nothing in the medical field now for me," Meg McElwee said.

The career fair attracted more than 30 area employers with hundreds of positions to fill.

"We have so many positions open now. We're looking for people who are full of energy and good customer service," Harrah's recruiter Meg Parmar said.

"I want to provide a sense of hope to our residents in spite of what the statistics say; there's hope and opportunities available to them," Chester Workforce Coordinator Robert Wrease said.

"I like it. It's an outpouring of people. It's a good thing to do because we all need a job right now," Sharon Brown said.

Last year's career fair attracted 350 job seekers and that was before the economy's recession. An estimated 500 people have dropped off their resumes at Chester City Hall this year.

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