Hundreds of job seekers attended the Job Gym’s Spring Job Fair Wednesday at Seaway Mall, hoping to connect with more than 60 employers from the region.
For some, the job fair has come at the right time. Nick Parfitt was laid-off from his manufacturing job at TSP Canada Towers earlier this year. Parfitt went to the job fair seeking a manufacturing job that might fit his skills.
The 51-year-old, born and raised in Welland, would like to remain in Niagara, but would be willing to move if he has to. Despite the bad circumstances of manufacturing industries shutting down in the region, Parfitt remains optimistic.
“You know what, I’ve always been able to find a job and keep going. Take what you can, and do what you can, do the work that you can,” Parfitt said, “and you know you might have to take a cut in pay sometimes, but you have to look at it like – this place is up and growing, and I can see a future here.”
At Wednesday’s job fair Parfitt saw a few openings that interested him, including positions in manufacturing such as PowerBlades Inc., a wind turbine blade manufacturer in Welland.
St. Catharines resident Pierre Martin used his one day off this week in order to attend the fair. A long-haul truck driver who spends six days a week on the road, Martin was looking for something that would allow him to spend more time with his wife and kids.
He said that he liked what he saw at the fair, especially the increase in green-energy industries throughout the region.
Other industries represented at the job fair included wineries, senior and wellness services, marketing, skilled trades and policing.
Deanna Villella, program manager for Job Gym’s Welland and Fort Erie offices, said that the fair was for people of all ages with a range of businesses wanting to fill temporary, full-, and part-time positions as well as summer placements and volunteer opportunities.
She said that the fair was a great opportunity for employers to get “face time” with applicants and even do some on-the-spot interviews.
Jay Gemmell, executive director of Job Gym said that the beauty of hosting a fair at Seaway Mall is the reach the employment agency gets being in a busy public place.
“You have employers in a high concentration, you have prospective employees in a high concentration, and it’s the best precedent for success for both because you can hit a lot of people in a short amount of time,” said Gemmell.
Both Gemmell and Villella said that there are definitely jobs in Niagara, noting that Job Gym currently has more than 400 listings on its job board.
Other displays at Wednesday’s job fair promoted adult education.