Career Fair matches employers, job seekers in Cape Girardeau

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
AARON EISENHAUER ~ Jacob Daniel, a representative from Anderson Broadcasting, speaks with Chris Moser, who came to the career fair hoping to find a job that pays better than his current position on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.

After 15 years of working at a nursing home, Pam Henderson quit her job because of burnout.

Since June, the Scott City resident has been looking for employment and hoped to find the answer today at the seventh annual Career Fair.

Henderson admits times are hard on the working class and events like the Career Fair are key to helping them find employment.

"This is nice because by coming here I don't have to do all the work by myself since a lot of employers are right here in one place," said Henderson, who was looking for opportunities as a certified nursing assistant at one of three Cape Girardeau hospitals. "With the economy the way it is any help I can get is welcomed."

Sponsored by the Southeast Missourian and the City of Cape Girardeau, the Career Fair at the Osage Community Centre allowed job hunters such as Henderson to fill out applications and visit booths of recruiters from 42 companies, most of whom had immediate job openings. Some of the employers there included Re/Max Realty, the Missouri Department of Corrections, Pepsi MidAmerica, Arbonne International, Integrity Home Care, Elite Travel & Cruises, Anderson Broadcasting and Southeast Missouri State University.

Job hunters also had an opportunity to attend sessions with professional resume writer Samantha Nolan.

Event organizer Robin Strop, Southeast Missourian classified advertising manager, said the fair was a convenient way for job seekers to connect with area employers under one roof. As of 2:15 p.m., 500 people had attended the Career Fair. The event started at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m.

"I expected more people this year because of the economy," Strop said. "We had a lot of people pass through here who hopefully found what they were looking for and needed."

Macy's department store was looking to fill 77 sales and support positions for its West Park Mall location. June Johnson, assistant general manager of human resources and operations from the company's corporate office in Atlanta, Ga., said the Career Fair is a valuable tool to recruit potential employees.

"This is huge because we get to see a large amount of people coming in here looking for employment," Johnson said.

Kendra Odom, regional vice president for Primerica Financial Services, was hoping to recruit trainers, team developers and managers for its new office in Cape Girardeau. A member of Citigroup, the company has more than 100,000 licensed representatives and more than 26,000 licensed mutual fund representatives in North America.

"We're here on a crusade to teach middle-income families about their money," Odom said.

Loarn Huff of Patton, Mo., was hoping the Career Fair would lead to an opportunity that would allow him to change careers. Huff currently works for a trucking company and wants to have a job that allows him to spend more time at home with his family.

While he was hoping to land a job in the construction business, Huff was open to other possibilities.

"Hopefully this Career Fair has helped," Huff said. "It has saved me a lot of time by not having to run around to different businesses around town. Having them together in one place certainly was a big timesaver."

Like Huff, Southeast university senior William Schatz of Cape Girardeau was not ruling out any particular field. Though his major is music, Schatz said he does not expect to enter that field after his December graduation.

"I've updated my resume beforehand and prepared the best I could," Schatz said. "But I'm not concerned about the economy. I know I'll find something."


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