About 300 job seekers and 40 employers took advantage April 2 of the seventh annual DuPage Job Fair at College of DuPage.
“The best part of these job fairs is when people attend and tell me later that they found a job and are working,” said state Rep. Sandy Pihos, R-48th of Glen Ellyn, sponsor of the job fair. “This is a good experience for people, whether or not they are able to find a job today.”
Along with the represented businesses, the job fair also offered workshops on professional resume writing and career coaching, interviewing for jobs, and ways to prepare for jobs that have changed in recent years.
“There are a lot of manufacturing jobs in DuPage County, but manufacturing has changed,” Pihos said. “A lot of people look at manufacturing jobs as dirty work, but it’s become much less of that and more technical.”
Terese Deddo, 63, of Carol Stream, was laid off in 2009 from a job as an office manager that she worked at for 30 years.
“I’m really glad I came here to the job fair,” Deddo said. “It’s helpful to talk to people. I’ve been doing a little care giving and housework, but I’d like to find something else to supplement my retirement income. I also want to feel productive.”
Lena Badami, who works in talent acquisition for VNA Health Care in Aurora, and Katie Paoletti, a human resources specialist for West Suburban Bank, both said meeting potential job candidates at the DuPage Job Fair offers an important opportunity not available when people apply online for jobs.
“Here, you meet people right away and are able to talk to them, face to face,” Badami said. “You can learn about their goals.”
Paoletti said the job fair allows for a look at some job applicants who otherwise would not be reviewed.
“We come here because we want to market ourselves and let people know who we are; that’s how you try to get good people,” she said. “This is a great chance to actually meet people, and that first impression is very important.”
Chris Urie, 23, of Addison, said he came because it gave him a look at a variety of job possibilities.
“I’m not sure what I want to do right now, other than find a job,” he said. “There’s a lot of different companies here, and you have the change to really talk to someone here.”
Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce, and Bistro, which has six locations including one in Oak Brook, had general managers Gary Wiggins from Oak Brook and Melanie Mpistolarides from South Barrington attending the DuPage Job Fair.
“We’re always looking to add new people who are good,” Mpistolarides said. “The job fair gives us the opportunity to meet new people we might be interested in, whether it’s for management, front of house, or anything else. This is our first time at this job fair, and it’s been good. We’ve had a lot of good people apply.”