Phila. jobseekers turn out for community job fair
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - March 15, 2012 (WPVI) -- 400 folks in South Philadelphia are a step closer to getting a job Thursday night, thanks to a huge job fair where 30 employers came looking for the best and brightest.
Potential employees dusted off their resumes and put on their sharpest clothes for the interviews.
Hundreds of people stood in line patiently waiting to get beyond the front doors of the Dixon House Community Center.
"I'm trying to get a job," said one participant. "I just really want to get hired."
It was Aramark and the Federation of Neighborhood Centers 3rd Annual Career Fair, and the turnout was by far the largest.
"More people are in need of work as you can see it from this crowd right here," said Zanessa Murphy. "I do a lot of non-profit work so I have to work as well."
Those looking for jobs are from all over the region and all walks of life.
Matthew Fleming has a degree in economics from Temple, but hasn't been able to find full time work for a year in a half.
"I'm just happy to be able to get in this one," said Fleming. "The last one, I wasn't even able to get in."
With an unemployment rate hovering at 10% in Philadelphia, and higher in some neighborhoods, you would think the outlook would be grim, but even the unemployed say the turnout is a good sign.
"This shows that things are looking positive, because companies are starting to reach out," said Murphy.
Unlike the last two years, all of the 30 vendors invited to the event showed up.
"They are really stepping up," said Diane Cornman-Levy, Executive Director of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers.
Organizers say they plan to work with the mayor's office to track the number of people hired to see just how effective these career fairs are.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, shirleen allicot
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