Job seekers didn’t need to leave their houses Wednesday to meet with companies looking to hire people.

Employment Security’s first ever virtual job fair drew a couple hundred job seekers to check out more than 600 job openings from more than 40 employers.

Each employer had its own virtual table and could host up to six people to discuss job openings in what resembled mini-Zoom calls after the coronavirus pandemic made it impractical to hold in-person job fairs.

“I like the format,” said Tiffany Brand of Dover. “It’s been very easy to talk to the employers and ask questions.”

The job openings heavily tilted toward manufacturing and technology.

“There’s a lot of really good connections going on,” said Joshua Cyr, senior director of startup initiatives at the New Hampshire Tech Alliance, which helped organize the event.

Gov. Chris Sununu said the job fair was drawing many people from surrounding states as well as “a lot of people looking for career changes” after the state experienced record high unemployment following the pandemic hitting and the state ordering a shutdown of many businesses.

“We’re getting people back to work faster than ever before,” Sununu said.

Wagner Prata worked for Oracle for nearly 23 years before getting laid off from his job in global technical support in Nashua last month.

“I chatted with a couple of people” at the job fair, he said and will keep in touch through email and LinkedIn.

“We’ll see how it goes,” said the Nashua resident.

Paula Philbrick of Brookline spent the two-hour event looking for a senior management or director-level role in technology.

“It’s really busy trying to get in before the end of the day,” Philbrick said. “It’s kind of hard to jump around” among the employer tables, and she wished it would have lasted longer.

She got her wish as the event was extended an extra 30 minutes.

“I’ve talked to some people,” she said. “There looks like there could be some fits.”

What's Working

What’s Working

What’s Working, a series exploring solutions for New Hampshire’s workforce needs, is sponsored by the New Hampshire Solutions Journalism Lab at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications and is funded by Eversource, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the New Hampshire College & University Council, Northeast Delta Dental and the New Hampshire Coalition for Business and Education.

Contact reporter Michael Cousineau at mcousineau@unionleader.com. To read stories in the series, visit unionleader.com/whatsworking.

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