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Job expo saves employers time

February 22, 2001

Job expo saves employers time



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Jpb ExpoAfter 19 years in the retail industry, Charlie Fetterhoff of Greencastle, Pa., faces a choice as his present job ends: Stay in the same field or try something different.

At a job expo for the Tri-State area Wednesday, he looked at the possibility of selling newspaper advertising or working at First Data.

"I am kind of like a kid in a candy store," he said.

Job Expo 2001, sponsored by Dame Broadcasting, was a great idea, he said.

"I think it is excellent. It is a chance to sample what is out there," he said.

More than 1,200 people were expected to turn out for the Job Expo, held at the Ramada Inn and Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Harold Bumbaugh of Fayetteville, Pa., praised the idea.

"It saves you from running around the Tri-State area," he said.

It is especially good to have such an event at a time when there is a low unemployment rate, Bumbaugh said.

Rich Bateman, general manager of Dame Broadcasting, agreed. The company operates three local radio stations.

Because Washington County's unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for more than a year, businesses need to get the word out about job openings, Bateman said.

"There was a real need to help people network with companies," he said.

The 35 companies at the expo represented fields ranging from health care to corrections.

Dame Broadcasting had publicized the expo for the past few weeks on its stations, Bateman said.

The first time the business sponsored the event, in October 2000, about 1,200 job seekers and 40 exhibitors turned out, Bateman said.

Wednesday's event appeared to be drawing even more people, but final estimates weren't available, he said. "Traffic is up substantially," he said.

Another expo is planned for Oct. 8, said Bateman, who plans to continue holding the event as long as there is a need, he said.

Officials of companies praised the expo.

Kim Pearsons, assistant director of nursing at Williamsport Retirement Village, said that business had conducted three interviews with applicants by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Pearsons and another employee handed out about 75 applications to people interested in positions as nursing assistants and floor aides, she said.

Normally, about two people a day fill out applications, she said.

One of the busiest booths was that of the Maryland Division of Corrections.

A variety of positions are available at the three state prisons south of Hagerstown, ranging from correctional dietary officer to social worker, said Mark Smith, personnel director at the Maryland Correctional Training Center.

Division of Corrections jobs are popular because of the good benefits that come with the positions, Smith said.

The expo is a great way to get out the word about the jobs, he said.

"I would like to see more of it," Smith said.

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