All ages, all education levels attend job fairMay 2nd, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: News
Nunez Community College held its Annual Spring Job Fair on Wednesday, April 20 in the Sigur Civic Center’s Ballroom. The twenty plus businesses and organizations attending offered students and residents many networking options and the potential for a fresh start in a new career.
The job market
The Nunez Job Fair was open to all residents. The only requirements were to come dressed for success with multiple copies of resumés in hand.
Local recruiters, including one from the St. Bernard Parish Government, were taking those resumes from the hundreds of job seekers.
“I am interviewing and advertising to anyone,” said Tyrone Ben, who is the Director of Personnel for the Parish Government. “I have two clerical positions, I have a laborer position, and I have a Section 8 housing voucher intake specialist.”
The Nunez Career Coordinator Michele Minor was impressed with those who turned out.
“People well dressed, [and] ready with their resumes in hand,” said Minor of the wide range of participants at this year’s fair.
Many of those applying for work were college students, like Julian Williams, a freshman at Nunez, who was looking for a better job with the chance for some independence. There were others, however, looking for the promise of steady work.
Wayne Berniol, 59, was coming off a position as a spill manager for O’Brien’s Response Management. His future is uncertain because recent management turnovers may cost him his spot as a contractor for the company. Berniol filled out the applications he’d collected.
“Basically, right now, I’m in limbo, waiting for my phone to ring,” said Berniol, who has been on two interviews in the last few weeks, but has received no call backs.
“My age has a lot to do with it,” Berniol said.
Medical Field for 2012
A predominant amount of the businesses present at the Nunez Job Fair were in the medical field. There was East Jefferson Medical Center, which is planning an expansion of services, Ochsner, with its many facilities, Home Instead Senior Care, and the St. Bernard Hospital opening in 2012.
Donny Lirette, a recruiter with Acadian Ambulance Service, was talking with prospective applicants about the training and what to expect from the work.
“Acadian does have its own academy,” Lirette said. As for the opportunities after the training program, the openings are fairly fluid according to Laritte, who said, “It is a field where there is lots of turnover.”
The St. Bernard Parish Hospital was also at the fair. Though the hospital does not officially open until 2012, that did not deter dozens from leaving copies of their resume with recruiter Debbie Demmateo.
“Start thinking, know that it is coming…know there are job openings at the hospital,” Demmateo said. Dammateo also told job seekers The St. Bernard Parish Hospital is having their own job fair on August 6.
As a result of all these openings and expansions, many students with medical disciplines are in a unique position to find work. Michele Minor, Coordinator of Career Services at Nunez, talked about the nursing program at Nunez and the success rate for students looking for work.
“Because [employers] know that they’re high quality nursing students… most of those students are snatched up the minute they come out,” said Minor.
Training and Certification
Some recruiters offered job seekers services that would augment their resumes with the training necessary to secure a job in the coming year.
The New Orleans Job Corps, which specializes in career training services and offers a GED to candidates who have not completed schooling, had staff on hand to discuss these opportunities.
“Our first priority to the trainee is to teach them a trade,” said Staff Coordinator Christopher Porter.
The Job Corps offers six trades, three of them are medical. The three medical fields are medical assistant, office support and Certified Nursing Assistant. The others are carpentry, electrician training, and culinary arts.
Culinary arts is the most popular certification offered by the program, said Porter, because of the number of restaurants in the region.
And all the programs have a high success rate.
“About high seventies to eighty percentile, that we help kids transition into the work force,” said Larry Daniels. “For those who have successfully completed the program.”
Daniels is a transition coordinator with the Job Corps program. He regularly speaks with local recruiters, businessmen and human resource personnel, and is responsible for helping the graduates get their foot in the door.
“We have what we call a ‘Career Transition Ready Course’ before they actually exit the program itself, in which we instill work ethics, proper attire, interviewing skills, proper way of filling out an application, proper follow up…and things of that nature,” Daniels said.
Which is important for all job seekers, he continued. The most common criterion he heard from employers for prospective candidates, was a one word answer: Professionalism.