Career fair looks to open doors

February 25, 2009 4:11:03 PM PST
They were taking steps to combat unemployment in New Jersey today. It was a tremendous turnout for this event at Gloucester County Colege, which underscores the increasing numbers of people laid-off and unemployed in the area. The Expo offered nearly 60 community-based resources and employers to at least 1,000 people who stopped by looking for work.

"It's been diverse, young people and older people, they're either looking to transition into something different or young people are looking to get started," James Martin of Financial Destination, Inc. said.

24-yr old Jackie Crocker is looking for a part-time job in law enforcement.

But Jackie will graduate in Washington Township, which doesn't guarantee police graduates a job.

63-year-old Carrol DeMatteo has returned to school at Gloucester County and needs to return to work.

"I already retired 7 years ago, and the economy is bringing me back to the workforce," DeMatteo said.

The inspiration for the event was Gloucester County's high number of lay-offs and unemployment statistics.

"Folks from the college got together and decided to partner with business members of our community," President of Gloucester Community College, Dr. Russell Davis, said.

The goal was to offer a wide variety of services.

"We'll help you find a social security card, if that's what you need, or we'll help you rebuild your resume and get along in the workplace; there's something for every need," Dean of Continuing Education, Patty Claghorn, said.

Seven workshop seminars were offered every hour, including one on "Dealing with Stress in Uncertain Times."

Jerry Ricker attended the seminar. He was laid off from a soil conservation company, after nearly two decades on the job. When asked if he was optimistic, Ricker replied, "Not really, no, it's still pretty scary out there."

Gloucester County College and the local businesses who worked to put together the career expo, said it fell right in place with President Obama's new initiatives, and even follows his philosophy, of taking advantage of the resources you have and offering them to members of the community who need them.

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