Job-seekers flock to employment fair at Wilmington riverfront

Dressed to impress, and with resumes in hand, about 2,200 people visited the Wilmington riverfront in search of job opportunities. 

Ruth Kelly of Newark was one of the visitors to the job fair organized by Senator Chris Coons, which brought together 80 employers from the public and private sectors who said they are ready to hire.

Ms. Kelly retired from DuPont in 2004, worked with the Christina School District, then held several part-time jobs, but was part of “reductions in force.”

“I’m not ready to retire,” Ms. Kelly said.  “Frankly, I can’t afford to retire.  A pension is just not enough.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

At the job fair, she learned about opportunities at local companies, the University of Delaware, and a range of government agencies.

“It’s really been a good experience.  I’m hopeful that I can find something,” Mrs. Kelly said.

“We’ve got more than 50 employers, private sector and public sector, companies like banks, contractors, manufacturers and sales groups that are hiring people today,” Senator Coons said.  He added he was pleased “to be able to do this for the folks who hired me and sent me to Washington to do the best I can, to help Delawareans connect to good, high-quality jobs.”

Brian Werkheiser of Bear, who graduated from the University of Delaware, visited the job fair looking for a position in criminal justice.  “It might be hard, but there are still a lot of jobs out there.  You’ve just got to find them,” he said.

Z’Kai Brooks of Wilmington, who is looking for work as an electrician, found it encouraging that a lot of employers seem to be looking for people.  Meanwhile, college student Ashton Govens of Wilmington said she “was surprised, there are a lot of opportunities in there.” 

According to the most recent Delaware Department of Labor findings, about 38,000 Delawareans are unemployed.

“The recovery isn’t strong enough or fast enough yet,” Coons said.  “But, we are making progress.”

Coons said his office is planning another employment fair in early June for job-seekers in Kent and Sussex counties.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

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

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal