More than 400 job seekers from all over northern New Jersey turned out for the fourth annual . The event took place Wednesday at the Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph.
PACC leaders hailed the event as a success.
“It’s refreshing to hear that most attending companies were able to discuss employment opportunities with over 20 quality applicants [each] in a wide variety of fields," said Chamber of Commerce President Robert J. Peluso. "With unemployment over 9 percent in New Jersey, this is not only beneficial for our community, but also [for] our area employers."
Thirty-eight companies were represented at the event, where they conducted preliminary interviews or passed on information to job seekers.
Quick Chek, which has two locations in Parsippany, was among the firms looking for workers.
“This was a great experience," said Mark Oritz, a district manager for the convenience store chain. "The event was run extremely well and [it was] a great opportunity to connect with our marketplace.”
Kelly Apgar, a representative of Express Employment Professionals, an employment agency on Littleton Road, said she was impressed by the high quality of the potential workers she encountered.
"A lot of the candidates have strong backgrounds and work experience," she said. "We're taking resumes, getting to know them and taking notes so we can follow up, bring them in for interviews and, hopefully, put them to work."
Peluso told Patch the quality workforce is a necessary element to fuel economic growth in Parsippany.
"Economic development starts with finding jobs for quality workers, because those employees make it possible for businesses to succeed and expand," he said. "As long as families are seeking employment, it's the Chamber's responsibility to be there to help them find it."
Fred Weisman, a chemical engineer from Flanders who said he's been looking for work for a year and a half, came to the job fair in search of opportunity.
"I found a few leads; this was good," he said, adding that he feels more hopeful about his job search. "There's light at the end of the tunnel."
Resources for job seekers were available as well.
Career development professional Laurel Weber Snyder presented a well-attended seminar on job interview strategies.
"Preparation is key," she said to Patch. "When you go in for an interview, you must dress well and look the part. You have to know everything you can about the company and about the person who's interviewing you. I recommend sharing an anecdote from your past that highlights your skills. And practice, so that you can overcome your nerves."
The Parsippany Free Public Library was on hand, as well.
Corinne Markey of the Halsey Road branch said the library was at the fair to make job seekers aware of all the resource information the institution offers to assist them in their career search.
"We've been coming for the four years since the Chamber started the job fair," she said. "We have many databases and online services that people can log on to and get live career help, resume critiques, job tips, networking options and more. And of course we have books on cover letter writing, interview tips, all kinds of information."
In all, about 40 companies were represented at the free event, including : ADP, AFLAC, Atlantic Health Care, Coca Cola Refreshments, Cablevision, Prudential, Rite Aid, Valley National Bank and T-Mobile.
Funding, according to Peluso, came from the self-funded and volunteer-based PACC Employment Outreach Program.
“Our dedicated volunteer committee demonstrated great focus and skills to make this event a success," said event co-chair Mary Adelman, who is assistant director of the northwest Jersey branch of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center.
The Job Fair is part of the Chamber’s Employment Outreach Program, which is designed to drive community and economic growth in the Greater Parsippany Area. The program features several services for job seekers, including a job posting board, quarterly newsletters, internship opportunities, scholarship programs, career counseling and more.
If you didn't make it to the fair, you can get assistance in your work search through the program. To avail yourself of the information and help, check the program website or call 973-402-6400.