Updated 04/12/2012 06:40 PM
Hundreds attend first New York State job fair in Syracuse
It was the first of its kind and a success. New York State's annual job fair included one, for the first time, in Syracuse. Our Kat De Maria was there.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Andrea Jenkins has been out of work for two years. She's back in school part time, but has been consistently looking for work, which she's only found so far for one month. Jenkins says she normally does the job search online. But Thursday, she stopped by New York State's first job fair in Syracuse. And she was far from the only one.
"We had hoped for 500 people, but we had 300 at the door when we started," said regional state representative Juanita Perez Williams.
State reps invited employers only with available jobs and offered Jenkins and the others nearly two dozen companies with some 700 positions in a variety of areas.
"We have a lot of nursing skill needs. We have a lot of business related: Accounting, secretarial, administrative needs. We have security businesses here. We have AAA," Perez Williams said.
AAA is where we found Jenkins, inquiring about jobs in the field where she has spent the past 30 years.
"Customer service is what I do, it's the skill I have now that's going to see me through until I get into the industry," she said.
Jenkins is studying medical administration. AAA's Contact Center manager, Dan Wuethrich, says he saw applicants with her skill set and many others.
"We are seeing a wide variety of people from the high school student to people looking for either a second career or a career after retirement, people with high school educations up to people with masters' degrees," Wuethrich said.
State reps say the response to the fair shows the need for jobs in Syracuse. Jenkins says she's hoping her visit was a successful one.
"I'm just glad the opportunity was here because I do see employers I did not see online. So now I have their cards and their information," she said.
For anyone who didn't have a chance to attend the job fair, access to all of the positions is available at www.jobs.ny.gov, the governor's Jobs Express web site.