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More openings and fewer people at job fair

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

March 10. 2015 8:43PM
Marlene Burns, human resources manager at GE Aviation in Hooksett, speaks with job seekers at New Hampshire Employment Security's Manchester Job and Resource Fair at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Tuesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — After 20 years, Lisa Weisberg lost her job in the medical records field two weeks ago.

Tuesday, the Manchester woman filed past tables with people from more than 40 employers wondering who might hire her at the state-organized job fair.

“See what my options are and where I can go,” she said at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Donna Hobart, meanwhile, works weekends at a fast-food restaurant and was looking for a second job, either in a retail store or at a restaurant.

“I’m trying to get a job during the week while my daughter’s in school,” the Manchester mother said.

The job fair, organized by New Hampshire Employment Security, attracted fewer than half the people in the first hour than a similar one held there last June.

Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis said Tuesday’s venue was changed only last Friday and that job fairs around the state are seeing fewer job seekers.

“Lower unemployment,” he said. “People have found work.”

Elliot Health System had about 200 job openings, from customer service to traveling nurses, spread around a dozen New Hampshire locations.

Human Resources recruiter Michael Young Jr. said he tries to find a position for people with “a good personality and a good work ethic” when possible.

“I feel it’s my responsibility to help them get their foot in the door,” Young said. “I’m putting puzzle pieces where they go.”

In the first hour, Young collected a half-dozen resumes from people. “Three or four of them, I could find something for them,” Young said.

Addressing the job fair, Gov. Maggie Hassan asked companies to consider hiring members of the military and veterans, who offer leadership and teamwork skills. She also said the state’s unemployment rate had dropped to 4 percent.

“We have recovered all of the private-sector jobs that were lost in the recession, but that means that it’s a challenging time to find that workforce that you need,” she said.

Weisberg expressed an interest in UPS and Elliot at the job fair and said she was taking a computer class and enrolled in state job training.

“I think it’ll be quite difficult to find something without the proper skills,” she said.


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