Area job hunters attend inaugural Career Fair

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Around 375 job hopefuls from throughout the area took advantage of the opportunity to meet with business representatives, fill out applications and gather employment information Tuesday during the inaugural Career Fair at the Show Me Center.

Some, like Nancy Blattel of Jackson, even landed interviews with prospective employers.

Blattel, a senior at Southeast Missouri State University, said she's spent the past two weeks dropping off her resume at around 30 area businesses.

"I got a lot further today than I have in the past two weeks going around town," Blattel said. "The career fair is a great idea because you already know all these people are hiring."

Blattel said she didn't know exactly what field she wanted to go into, but the fair had "definitely" given her some ideas.

The career fair was sponsored by the Southeast Missourian and

"All of the vendors I spoke with said the fair exceeded their expectations," said event coordinator Nancy Grand, recruitment specialist at the Southeast Missourian. "Everyone was pleased with the turnout of qualified applicants."

Laid-back atmosphere

Donna Kramer of Cape Girardeau said she enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere of the fair.

"It's not as stressful. You're not as nervous as you would be in a regular interview," Kramer said. "You can talk to employers more freely and openly."

Around 25 employers from throughout Southeast Missouri spent the day screening potential employees and distributing company information.

Kelley Watson, a home style specialist with At Home America said the fair was a great opportunity for her to distribute information about her business.

"We've been able to put the word out to a lot of people today," said Watson. "I really feel it's been a great success. We'll definitely come back next year."

Tamra Hosler, a recruiter with Three Rivers Healthcare in Poplar Bluff, Mo., said career fairs are her employer's second-biggest employment generator.

During Tuesday's fair alone, Hosler received applications from around 100 job candidates.

"By traveling to job fairs in other places, we're able to come into contact with potential employees we might never have reached otherwise," Hosler said.

Hosler said she attends around 25 career fairs every year, so she knows how beneficial they can be.

"The information obtained during the fair is very important to us," Hosler said. "It's plugged into a database available to Tenet hospitals throughout the country."

Jill Haupt, a representative from Havco Wood Products Inc., said she's already scheduled numerous interviews with fair participants.

"I was thrilled with the turnout," Haupt said. "I received more than 50 applications, and there was a good mix of job seekers."

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