DERRY — Hopeful applicants said during a job fair Monday at the Marion Gerrish Community Center that they would be grateful for the chance to start working again.
Dozens of job seekers turned out for the New Hampshire Employment Security job fair that ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., organizers said.
“We had about 60 people within the first half-hour,” said Pamela Szacik, of New Hampshire Employment Security. “There are over 500 jobs available here today.”
Employers from retail and manufacturing sectors and placement agencies were on hand to speak to job seekers.
Applicant Kathleen Merson-Morrison of Hampstead said she came to the job fair after being laid off several months ago from an aerospace company in Londonderry. The company closed in late June, displacing her and about 150 other workers, she said.
Merson-Morrison said she worked in trade compliance, but she was willing to consider other fields.
“I’ve had a few careers in my lifetime, and I find that you bring something new to the table with each adventure you embark on,” she said. “I think you have to stay positive.”
Merson-Morrison said she is fortunate her husband is still working, and she was glad the job fair was being held. She said she had worked at her last job for a number of years.“It’s been a long time since I’ve had to look for a job, so it’s a way of networking,” she said. “I do appreciate very much that this came from the New Hampshire Unemployment web site.”
Merson-Morrison said she received notification from the state and wanted to come and meet potential employers. She said money isn’t the primary motivator for her; she is also interested in the benefits such a 401(k) plan.
“You kind of just come and see what’s available and talk to people and try to get an idea of what you are going to do with the rest of your life,” she said.
In another area of the center, applicant Chris Tullo said he had come to the job fair after working for about 10 years in the hotel industry. Tullo said there isn’t much opportunity locally in the industry and he is willing to try other careers.
“Most of my experience has been in hotels and, depending on where you live, it’s kind of challenging to find a position that at least pays well.”
Tullo said he had submitted about five applications, mostly to staffing agencies.
“I’m just exploring which other positions are available,” he said, as he prepared to walk around the center once more.