Last Thursday, like many others,
I attended the 2009 CDO Workforce
Job Fair and Career Expo at the
Holiday Inn in Oneonta.
I was blown away at the attendance as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. About 50 businesses were on hand to feature various employment opportunities within their organizations.
More than 600 job seekers made the rounds to the display tables, hopeful that filling out an application or dropping off a resume would prove fruitful in the near future. The Daily Star was one of many sponsors of the event, and several things caught my attention.
First, the sheer volume of folks who attended was astounding and certainly a product of our hard economic times.
The recent unemployment statistics were telling this year. Some attendees were jobless, displaced by company cutbacks or layoffs, while others had jobs and were looking to find a better fit or an upgrade.
Our comptroller was on hand the entire day and placed a call to us an hour after the event began. To our surprise, it was to get more applications. We started the day with 100, and by 11 a.m., we were already out. The talent, experience, variety and ambition of the attendees highlighted that quality candidates are ready, willing and able to meet the needs of area employers.
As I toured the tables, I was amazed at just how many companies had jobs to fill. The misconception that there are no jobs in the area went out the window.
Think back to the last event you attended at the Holiday Inn. Most recently, at the wedding I attended, the celebration filled the large banquet room to capacity.
Well, if you double that, you will get an indication of just how large this annual event really was, as vendor tables were spread among two rooms.
Many thanks to all those who participated and the many people who worked so hard to put this together.
Eventually, it will benefit us all.
After the event, there was a reception for local college students to interact with business representatives. Colleagues recounted their own job offerings in different specialties.
For example, while a hospital is known for its physician and nurse disciplines, its accountants, technical support, among others, are vital to its operations.
The clear message was to not discount an organization’s needs simply based on its product or service. The other recurring theme was the perception of entry-level jobs _ there are none because every position can build bigger opportunities.
The fact is that most companies look to promote from within. They train and educate existing employees to grow their business.
A foot in the door, persistence and drive can elevate or launch a career, and candidates should keep that in mind. What that’s saying is, don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. Being shortsighted could close doors.
In my eyes, the event was a huge success. It gave the avenue for jobseekers and companies with hiring needs a chance to come together for mutual benefit.
As we pore through the numerous applications we received that day for our vacancy, I am confident a perfect fit is in the mix.
Since the inception of my column, I have had the pleasure of corresponding with a reader named Butch. As a former smoker, he has been a champion and supporter of my efforts.
He e-mailed me Wednesday about the cigarette tax hike that will take effect in April.
He cleverly pointed out that it was another great reason to kick my nasty habit _ not that I need another one, because all the old reasons are still valid.
I couldn’t agree more with Butch. Anyone else jumping on the wagon come April?
Tanya Shalor is publisher of The Daily Star and may be reached at (607) 432-1000, ext. 214, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears every other week.