Yeah, the econ is sooooooo good.More Than 10,000 Show Up For Job Fair :
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Organizers of a statewide job fair said they couldn't accept any more people after 10,000 showed up in the first two hours of the event.
The Project Economy Job Fair at Southern New Hampshire University was expected to draw as many as 5,000 people, but thousands showed up early to meet potential employers. Traffic backed up for at least a mile on Interstate 293.
"If I had known this, I would have been here at 6 o'clock this morning," said Claudette Grizios, as she waited in her car on I-293. "Honest to God, this is unbelievable."
Event parking at the Mall of New Hampshire was shut down by 11:30 a.m., although parking remained available for customers. Job fair attendees were asked to take public transportation, but organizers later said there were too many people at the event to accept any more.
The job fair was sponsored by WMUR, SNHU and the state of New Hampshire.
Despite the traffic issues, many said they were determined to make it to the job fair because they had been without jobs for some time.
"That's my process here, is just to go see recruiters and just get some resumes out there and just get my information out to as many people as I can," said Joyce Inghem.
Because of the massive turnout, plans are already under way for another job fair to be held within a few months. In the meantime, job seekers were advised to go to the state's Job Match System Web site to find available jobs.
Those who were able to make it to the job fair early arrived with resumes in hand.
"I got laid off," said attendee Adam Jache. "I figured this was the biggest job fair I'd heard of. Figured I'd come down and try my luck."
The job fair kicked off at 10 a.m. with a few words from Gov. John Lynch and quickly got crowded. That was good news for companies like Cru-Con Cruise Outlet, which wants to fill 13 full-time positions.
"Corporate marketing, Web database entry, and one of the unique opportunities is onboard cruise ambassador," said Debbie Adams of Cru-Con Cruise Outlet.
About 140 businesses were at the fair, looking to fill more than 1,000 jobs.
"All in all, it's exciting because we do have a lot of people, so I'm hoping, from my perspective, I can find some great candidates," said Steve Davis of Staffing Sense. "But on the flip side, it is amazing to realize that there are that many people out of work."Many of the job seekers at the fair said they had been looking for a job for months
and hoped to turn things around at the event. Ryan Hibbard, of Laconia, was able to land an interview at the job fair after four months without a job.
"It's a local restaurant," Hibbard said, "I spoke with them. They asked me why I like to cook. I said, 'I like cooking. It's something my father instilled upon me from a young age.' She said, 'Come in next week. You have an interview.'"
The crowd ranged from those with decades of work to students about to graduate college."Everybody coming out of college has the same degree, the same level, same skills
, not a lot of experience, but all the people out there are obviously fighting for those positions, as well," said college senior Shawn Burham.
Experts also taught lessons on how to improve resumes and write better cover letters.
Organizing Committee Issues Statement
The Project Economy Job and Career Expo Organizing Committee has issued the following statement regarding Thursday's Expo:
"The Project Economy Job and Career Expo Organizing Committee wishes to apologize to any job seekers who were unable to gain entry to the event being held today at Southern New Hampshire University. These are challenging economic times and there was an unprecedented turnout of job seekers looking to take the next step in their career journey. Thankfully, thousands of job candidates from throughout the state and beyond were able to meet with employers and we know that many valuable career connections were made as a result of this event.
"We thank the many businesses and service providers who were part of this first ever statewide Expo. We thank our partners at the Mall of New Hampshire and the adjacent Burlington Coat Factory for allowing job seekers to access their parking lot. We thank law enforcement for their role in ensuring the safety of all participants as they made their way to and from the Expo and we thank all of the bus vendors, state and local agencies and volunteers who were dedicated to making this day a successful one for any citizen seeking employment.
"Given the demand for job opportunities, we are already scheduling a second Project Economy Job and Career Expo to take place over the next few months. In the meantime, we are encouraging all job seekers to visit the new Job Match System Web site at https://nhworksjobmatch.nhes.nh.gov/
. We wish all job seekers the best of luck in their path to employment and stand ready to assist in the days and months ahead."