Autumn Job Fair offers 'a lot of job opportunities'

October 12, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Toni Rose, left, Human Resources Administrator from Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races talks with Thomas Custer of Hagerstown at the Autumn Job Fair held at Valley Mall on Friday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Within 20 minutes of showing up at The Valley Mall for a job fair Friday, Hagerstown resident Wilma Ammons, 26, scored a future interview with an insurance company.

“I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen,” Ammons said.

The Autumn Job Fair featured more than 30 vendors spread throughout the mall.

Education, government, nonprofit and private sector opportunities filled the area along with interested people.

Hagerstown resident Valerie Zehringer graduated from Kaplan University in March and was looking at opportunities. She said she has a background in sales and is seeking something dealing with health information technology.

“I’ve gotten a couple of good leads here,” she said. “I am looking for a position in medicine.”

D.M. Bowman, a full service transportation firm based in Williamsport, set up shop near Garfield’s and had interested people visiting the stand throughout the morning.

“We are looking to hire qualified drivers for local and regional runs,” D.M. Bowman Professional Development Coordinator Robbie Soto said. “This is the first one that we’ve done in a while, and it’s actually going pretty well.”

Merkle Response, a local company that manages response needs of nonprofit, government and for-profit organizations, also set up a stand near the Sears and the Old Navy. Tracy Younker, human resources manager for the company, said that she was looking for different types of applicants.

“We’re just trying to fill some positions that we have open,” she said. “It’s nice because people can get to know the company. We’ve done very well.”

The job fair was sponsored by Herald-Mail Media, Valley Mall, Hagerstown Community College and Washington County One-Stop Job Center.

People attending the job fair also could receive help with their résumés, and many of them remained open-minded about where they would like to work.

Martinsburg resident Rob Evans, 39, said that he is thinking about a career change and is open to any type of situation.

“Hagerstown seems to be where a lot of job opportunities are,” he said. “I have experience working in education, media sales and as an office professional. As a college graduate with 18 years of experience, I have a lot to offer.”

Evans said he majored in business administration and currently works part time at a grocery store.

Lunch was also provided along with employer giveaways at the fair.

Greencastle resident Paul Hansen, 48, said he was at the fair looking for a full-time or part-time job and was interested in different companies. He has been unemployed two months.

“It’s a tough job market out there,” he said. “I’m looking for any job that I have the skills to be available to use.”

Madison Lewis, 18, of Hagerstown, also was looking for a job where she could increase her skills working with people and was interested in the Arc of Washington County.

“I would like working with the autistic or elderly and things like that,” she said. “I have an autistic brother and multiple people in my family that have disabilities, and it helps me to help the community because I know how hard they struggle in it.”

The Fair began at 10 a.m. Friday and lasted until 2 p.m.

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