Friday, February 18, 2011

More employers, more jobseekers attend collegiate career fair

The 400 people who crowded into the first hour of the Springfield Collegiate Career Fair Thursday were a sign of how many people still are trying to find work, organizers of the event said.

The significant difference this year was the mix of employers at the Springfield Collegiate Career Fair — fewer from the public sector, more from the private — and the fact that the nearly 90 organizations were looking to hire.

“There’s just more energy this year,” said Rachel Hasenyager, employer relations coordinator at UIS.

Hasenyager said more retail and financial-services companies signed up this year, while there were fewer government agencies. UIS, Lincoln Land Community College, Robert Morris University and Benedictine University sponsor the event, which is in its 13th year.

While exchanging information at tables spread through much of the first floor of the Public Affairs Center, both employers and would-be employees described a still difficult and highly competitive job market.

But employers said they are, indeed, hiring again, and applicants said it seems worth getting out there.

“I’ve been here 11 years, and I’ve never seen it like this,” said Tammy Craig, director of the UIS Career Development Center.

Craig said the job market never really recovered after 2001, when the economy was hit by the terrorism attacks on Sept. 11. The last two to three years have been even harder because of the recession, she added.

The event was featured in a February 18, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article