On Thursday, droves of people made their way to the first-ever community job fair at True United Church on Old York Road. The Oak Lane event featured 10 employers currently looking to hire.
Though scheduled to start at 11 a.m., the doors opened early because a line had already started forming outside. There were 150 people in attendance early on, but organizers say a sign-in sheet contained several hundred names.
Long lines told the story of a job fair which lasted until 4 p.m. and featured representatives from Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Double Tree Hotel, Brown’s ShopRite Super Stores, Metro Public Adjustments, EducationWorks and others.
“People are out of jobs, and we saw this as a need for our community,” said Charmaine Thompson, a missionary with True United Church’s community organization. “The turnout exceeded our expectations.”
Both young and old attendees queued up at the various tables. Some sought their first jobs, while others said they have been unemployed for more than five years.
“It’s close to the holidays and I need to find employment to get my kids Christmas gifts,” said one job seeker.
Some attendees left with interview opportunities while others held out hope of a soon-to-come call back. Thompson, and church senior president Shawn Bartley, said the turnout translated into plans to host a second-annual job fair in 2012.