“Don’t focus on occupations — focus on skills,” Sessions said. “Be flexible in jobs you apply for.”
Mike Condon, residential home coordinator at Arc Otsego, said with lower unemployment rates, the job market may offer broader options. Working for Arc Otsego “isn’t for everyone,” he said, but sometimes trying something different turns into fulfilling employment.
“Be open to new experiences,” Condon said.
Arc Otsego has about 325 employees and about 510 consumers, Condon said. The organization, which provides services for people with disabilities, is looking for direct support workers, bus drivers and Medicaid service coordinators, he said.
Job-seeker Matthew Decker of Oneonta said the fair offered “one-stop job shopping.”
“Everybody’s really nice,” he said. Decker, who would like to work with computers, said he wished there were more entry-level opportunities.
Chelsey Decker, his wife, said she would be filling out multiple applications Wednesday but particularly was interested in the certified-nurse assistant program at Chestnut Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Oneonta.
Patti Potter, Chestnut Park admissions director, said the center started a CNA training program in the autumn to help meet a need, and the third class will be offered this spring.
Chestnut Park pays employees minimum wage to take the CNA course and the state required test, Potter said. Employees who successfully complete the program and test are eligible for part-time work, then full-time jobs when available, she said.
The center, which has 95 to 100 employees overall, expects CNAs to stay on for about six months after the program, officials said.
Potter said the job fair was a successful recruiting event. Her supply of 75 applications was down to two near closing time, she said, and interest in the CNA program was high.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Potter said.