Career fair attracts hungry local job seekers

Sep 9, 2013

Though the Labor Department reports the lowest unemployment rate in nearly five years,  the turnout at a recent career fair indicates many Buffalo-area residents are still searching for a job.

Career fair in downtown Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

Nearly three dozen companies were on hand to meet with job seekers Friday at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center on Goodell Street downtown. The two-hour event attracted more than 500 people,  which didn't surprise BETC's Executive Director Antoine Thompson.

"Particularly in this day and age when you have so many jobs posted on line, when you're able to get a a job seeker before the face of a recruiter, it's awesome. Because it increases the likelihood of getting an interview," Thompson said. 
  
According to the Labor Department, employers added an average of 148,000 jobs in the past three months,  well below the 12-month average of 184,000.

Some companies are bucking the trend, though.

Jean Sheehan Talent Aquisition Manager at Conserve says the call center in Depew is growing. According to Sheehan, the company's 500 employees have various degrees.

"High school, GED, Bachelor's or Master's degree. Its really just the right skill set that matters. Someone who doesn't mind being on the phone, making those calls who can deal with people and build that rapport," Sheehan said.

Several other representatives also said their companies were hiring.

Ruth from Amherst, who's been unemployed about two years, said she is ready to sell her house and move out of state.

"I have extensive  experience in management. They realigned my department. They hired somebody who was 20 years younger for $20,000-a-year less."
   
Along with potential employers, the career fair featured more than a dozen training providers.