Big crowd attends Wilmington jobs fair

    In a sign of today’s job market, more than 1,000 people go to the Chase Center on the Riverfront, looking for work.

    They came by the hundreds, bearing resumes, portfolios and hope.

    More than a thousand job seekers attended a jobs fair at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Monday, looking to connect with one of the 45 companies on hand.

    Sergio Howard, who has been out of work for a year, is trying to get back into his chosen field of information technology.

    “I’m looking for a job,” he said. “And this is probably the best opportunity that I have to look at the different employers, get an idea of what they want and what I can provide to them.”

    Natasha Briggs has been jobless for a year.

    “I’ve been looking for things in the mortgage industry because that’s where I was, but I’m also open to new experiences,” she said.

    Some of the federal agencies and private organizations represented included the Environmental Protection Agency, Sallie Mae, the U.S. Military, Comcast and TD Bank.

    “I’m very pleased that so many Delawareans looking for work came out to take advantage of the jobs fair today,” said U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman, who hosted the event. “We had 45 public and private organizations on hand — nearly all of whom came with available job opportunities and are looking to hire.”

    Seminars were also held throughout the day on topics ranging from the federal application process to how to conduct a successful job search in a turbulent market.

    Joyce Dungee Proctor, a career coach and motivational speaker, was one of the featured speakers. She said the most important job search tool these days is networking.

    “What I have found to be successful is that people are taking care of people that they know, it’s as simple as that,” she said. “Look at the people that are in your immediate circle and then start to expand out. Make sure they understand what you’re looking for and when you’re ready to start so they can work on your behalf.”

    And speaking of hope, Proctor said jobs are out there.

    “But you have to be flexible,” she said. “So, what does that mean? Your income may not look the way that it used to look. What you do may not look like it used to look.”

    Proctor said it also means being open to taking a part-time job until something better comes along.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.