Philly job fair draws thousands

Thousands of people packed the “Grand Slam Career Fair” at Citizen’s Ballpark. The fair included about 70 area employers, ranging from bartending schools to financial services to hospitals to WaWa.

Paul Rementer was there recruiting for store managers. “We’re getting a variety of applicants,” he said. “Everybody’s eager.  We have a few hundred applicants, if not maybe a thousand looking at the piles that we have here in front of us. We have a lot of talent to pick from, which is a nice problem to have,” he said.Rementer says he has between 15 to 20 open positions to fill in Southeast Pennsylvania, and about 30 to 40 openings in the region. Job fair attendees ranged from new college graduates to those who have been looking for work for two years.

There were many lessons learned about employers and job seekers. Women were observed switching from high heels to flip flops while standing in line. A nineteen year old inquired about a job with SugarHouse Casino, and was turned away and told to come back in two years.

Representatives from USA Intern, which offers paid and unpaid internships, and a few paid jobs, said they have noticed an increase in older applicants looking for opportunities. “We typically work with the 18 to 24 year old college student,” said company president Chanin Coyle. “We are working with career changers. These are people that have worked in their field for 15 years. Now they’re re-entering the job market. We actually call them the 30 year old interns.”Gary Hughes from Dish Network was interested one thing, “Are you afraid of heights?”  Trainees are expect to go up a ladder and “if you can’t come down we call the fire department to help you out,” Hughes said.  “Overcome that and we can train you to do anything else.”

A swarm of people congregated around Authentic Bartending School’s table. Steve Klein, the school’s owner, said the recession has been great for business.  “When people are hurting and in bad shape they like to talk and meet with people instead of going to the movies and this is a good social outlet. We have plenty of jobs out there for people,” Klein said.

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