WILKES-BARRE — There were plenty of jobs available at Tuesday’s Times Leader Career Fair, where prospective employees busily filled out applications and tried to make good first impressions on recruiters from some 40 local companies.
Michael Ruth, 27, of Wilkes-Barre, said the Career Fair came at exactly the right time for him — he was laid off one week ago.
“It came as a shock to me when I was laid off; I wasn’t expecting it,” Ruth said. “So I’m glad to be able to come here, see what’s available and meet people from so many different companies. It’s all a matter of seeing what might be right for me and whether I’m right for them.”
Ruth, who earned a degree from King’s College in 2013, has experience in writing, editing and publishing. He said he filled out a few applications and hopes to hear back from them on possible positions.
The career fair, held at the Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel & Conference Center, gave job seekers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with employers in a variety of fields, ranging from medical to manufacturing and just about everything in between. There were also opportunities to interview on-site.
Alayna Soucy, a learning support teacher at Hanover Area High School, brought eight students to give them the experience of job hunting. Soucy said the students, juniors and seniors, are part of the district’s transition program that helps students decide what they will do after graduation.
“The Career Fair gives the students the opportunity to match their particular skills with various employers,” Soucy said. “It also shows them what jobs are out there and where they might find a fit.”
Soucy said some of the students might decide to continue their education, while others will enter the workforce after high school.
“The students will also learn what the employers here are seeking in job candidates,” Soucy said. “They will get some idea of what’s available if they decide not to continue on to college.”
A recruiter for The Institute for Human Resources and Services said the Kingston business has a need for several direct-care workers. It provides residential services to individuals with intellectual disabilities, as well as mental health disorders.
The recruiter said full-time positions pay $13 per hour with benefits.
Josh Boshek, a supervisor at Navient in the Hanover Industrial park, said the student loan company is looking to fill two training classes, each with 22 to 25 slots, for the call center. Boshek said the jobs start at $13.20 for differential shift work.
“These are entry-level positions,” Boshek said. “The Career Fair offers us the opportunity to meet candidates face-to-face and that is the best way to accept applications.”
Bridget Flannery, human resources director at Timber Ridge Health Care Center, said there are several openings at her facility — for CNAs, LPNs and dietary workers.
“The Career Fair is a good way for us to get our name out there in the community,” Flannery said. “We’ve seen a lot of younger people here today. We enjoy meeting potential candidates and talking to them about our operation.”
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.