4,000 attend career fair

April 30, 2009 3:31:53 PM PDT
Job seekers are hopeful that a visit to the region's largest career fair will pay off. Today, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce job fair, the PhillyMagnet Career Fair, brought out thousands, including Todd Miller.

"I'm one of the many people who have fallen under hard times. Obviously, I lost my job and I'm trying to find a new career path," Todd Miller of Northeast Philadelphia said.

Today, he had company, his dad Jeffrey.

"I've had my own business for 25 years and I feel very strange coming down here looking for a job, but it's desperate times equate the desperate measures," Jeffrey said.

Many people said they'd been looking for months, even years.

"I have been looking now for two months, and it's hard. I have to take care of my house and my family. I need it and that's why I'm here," Camilla Feris of Southwest Philadelphia said.

"The job market is very small so when you go look for a job, not everybody's hiring. You can't let that hinder you; you've just got to keep going," Julie Colbert of West Philadelphia said.

People waited in line beginning at 7:00 a.m., three hours before the doors opened.

In a boom year there'd be 70 vendors and 2,500 job seekers. This year there are just 40 booths, but 4,000 applicants.

Some vendors said people needed to be ready to accept lesser duties and lower salaries.

"Nothing is forever. I think you take opportunities, you take interim assignments, you stay active in the marketplace, something will land," Nanette Carney, a recruiter for Carney Group, said.

But others said they were ready to make top end offers.

"We have an opportunity to open and we're hoping to find the right people today," Jeffrey Pintof of Rowland Printing said.

"While everyone is going through a recession, I say, 'what recession?' My business is booming, we are 40-percent higher in sales than we were last year," Luisa Genova-Pagano of Mary Kay said.

Tomorrow many folks will still be on the hunt, but for some in the crowd at the career fair, today could be the day their personal economy turned around.

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