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Job fair features record number of positions as unemployment payments end

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Those looking to find a job could find plenty of them in Watertown Tuesday.

The WorkPlace hosted a job fair at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Sixty employers took advantage of the opportunity, advertising more than 1,400 job openings - a record number.

The fair comes as extra unemployment payments run out.

“It’s time and that’s why we chose this date is because we knew that we’re going to have some changes in the air and so this has been a successful event for us,” said Cheryl Mayforth, director of The WorkPlace.

Another reason people are getting back to work is because they don’t have to care for their children at home since kids are back in school full-time.

We spoke with some of these job seekers and employers during the job fair.

Some people looking for work said they want to make in-person connections - something they haven’t been able to do over the course of the pandemic.

“Online is an entirely different scenario and calling into a workplace is also an entirely different scenario,” said Wendy Connolly, a job-seeker.

She said the job fair gave her a chance to chat with interested employers, who she says may have never contacted her.

“It’s actually helped me out today to actually physically meet people and get to know people and apply face to face instead of just waiting for an actual interview,” she said.

Dozens of employers were on hand looking for workers. Cheyenne Hammond with Krafft Cleaning Service says their business is looking to hire 5 to 8 employees and the applicant pool has grown.

“Just in the last two weeks alone, we’ve had over 20 applicants and it’s been a while since we had that,” she said.

Hammond feels the influx may be due to the end of the extra $300 in unemployment benefits.

Robin Hansen with First Student says they have seen the same thing and with kids going back to school full-time, she says it’s more important than ever to bring in more bus drivers.

“I’m looking to hire as many drivers as I can because we have such a big need here in the area. What we do is, actually even if have more, we send them to other locations that can actually utilize those services,” she said.

Employment experts want to keep the momentum going, saying there will still be plenty of openings out there.

You can find some of those job postings here or give The WorkPlace a call at 315-786-3651 to find out more.

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