The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 18, 2013

Job fair attracts a crowd

DANVILLE — An impressive number of job seekers turned out to this year’s Danville Area Community College’s Career Connections Job Fair.

The 18th annual job fair drew about 67 organizations and employers to the Mary Miller Gymnasium, where DACC students and community members had an opportunity to meet with area employers who have current or near-future part-time and full-time job openings.

The occupation fields represented at the job fair were varied and included health care, retail, recycling, manufacturing, food service, criminal justice, communications, banking and federal and state jobs, Boyd said. Employment service agencies also were on hand.

“The turnout was very good,” said Mike O’Brien, former director of the Small Business Development Center. “What employers I spoke with seemed like they were upbeat.”

Tara Wright, an administrator with DD Homes in Danville, said her organization participates in the job fair every year.

“I’m here every year. It’s a great set-up,” she said. “There are a lot of repeat vendors.”

One job seeker, Sonia Martinez of Danville, stopped at each employer’s table to speak with a hiring specialist and to hand them her resume.

“I am very excited,” Martinez said of her prospects at the job fair.

“New stores are opening — Meijer, McDonald’s and Kohl’s — and that’s more jobs for Danville,” she said.

Martinez said she decided to go back to school after being laid off from FreightCar Services. She is studying manufacturing engineering at DACC and is interested in enrolling in mechatronics when that is offered in the fall.

“All of the industry is going to robotics,” she said.

Martinez said she was hopeful that going back to school would give her the skills she needs for a better job.

“I’m looking for more stability, but I’m also worried about my kids and what job opportunities there will be for them in Danville,” she said.

Another job seeker, Nakia Perryman of Danville, said she has been looking for a secretarial position since being laid off in January.

“It gets discouraging at times when you interview but then you get the call back that they’ve given the job to someone else with more experience,” she said.

“The job fair gives you hope that there are jobs available,” Perryman said.

A first-time job fair attendee, Krista Angus of Danville is working part-time but said she would like to find full-time employment.

“I’ve been at my job 13 years, so I was comfortable,” she said.

Now that Angus has returned to school at DACC, she said, “I’m looking for a full-time job that will work around my school schedule.”

The job fair also coincided with annual State University Transfer Day. For the fourth year in a row, representatives from several Illinois universities were on hand at the job fair to discuss university transfer options.

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