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November 22. 2013 10:04PM

300 people turn out for Nashua job fair


Maria Rogers of Hudson and Krystal York of Bow speak with a representative from Windham Professionals during a job fair Friday at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nashua. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/Union Leader Correspondent)

NASHUA — Patricia Legenc said now is the ideal time to start searching for a more professional, better-paying job.

“I am underemployed,” said Legenc, of Milford. While she appreciates her full-time job, the paycheck does not provide Legenc with enough income, forcing her to tap into her savings account to make ends meet.

On Friday, Legenc initiated her hunt for a new job, a process she says is both nerve wracking and exciting.

“I am kind of just going with the flow right now, but I am ready to start exploring my options,” she said while joining about 300 other job seekers at the Crowne Plaza hotel for a Career and Opportunities Fair hosted by U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster. More than 20 area businesses participated, handing out business cards and accepting resumes from people searching for employment in various fields, including manufacturing, finance, health care and recreation industries. “We have a very talented pool of workers here in New Hampshire,” said Kuster, explaining her mission was to connect job seekers with companies that have vacancies. Kuster said her top priority is to help create jobs and opportunities for middle-class families in the state. This will be the first in a series of job fairs organized by Kuster.

Acknowledging that the unemployment rate in New Hampshire is improving, as it recently dropped to 5.1 percent (though it inched up slightly in October), Kuster said the public must look beyond statistics. Many people are still underemployed and may be qualified for better jobs with higher rates of pay, according to Kuster, who said those are the people who need to be given more opportunities. Maral Boghossian of Nashua is one of those people. He now works full time at Target, and is grateful for the steady job and income. Still, she said, it is her goal to find employment in a more advanced retail position.

“The economy is so bad right now, but I will continue to try,” said Boghossian, who was optimistic that a discussion Friday with a local bank may lead to a job possibility. “I was meant to be here today. I am really excited, and I feel like this was a good event that could be a great step forward for me.”

Employers such as Med-Acuity Software, the U.S. Postal Service, Triangle Credit Union, Corfin Industries, Airmar, W.H. Bagshaw, Nashua Community College, Primerica, UPS and more were in attendance searching for future workers. Representatives from Crotched Mountain were on hand looking for 300 seasonal workers for the ski resort. While some seasonal employees return each winter, Cathy Gombas of Crotched Mountain said they still need dozens of new workers to help sell tickets, make snow, operate the ski lifts, work in the dining hall and even bartend.

Sean McIntosh of Conway Office Solutions of Nashua was hoping to fill three vacant positions at the Xerox company, including a sales job, administrative role and an internship position.

McIntosh said he was pleased with the great turnout on Friday, and was optimistic there would be some strong leads from the event.

khoughton@newstote.com