Reliable employment is the first step in achieving the American Dream. The City of Hammond wants its people to know their well-being and success matters. For 13 years they have collaborated with businesses all over the region to bring a Job Fair full of options to the citizens.
The 2016 Job Fair was held at the Hammond Civic Center on March 24th, 2016. Eighty-five different businesses had booths reserved in the wide auditorium.
“This reinforces to the city that it is important to us that our people have gainful employment,” said Africa Tarve, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Hammond. “It’s [also] important that businesses with employee needs see that we help address them.”
One thing that makes this year different from the dozen before it is the new partnership the City has entered into. WorkOne and The City have always worked together to build interest in the Job Fair, find corporations accepting applications, and to run the event itself. This time the North Township Trustees Office wanted to get involved.
“These are two agencies that actively work with job seekers,” Tarve said. “It’s good marketing: now we know this message is getting to the people who really need it.”
Cindy Rivera, the Education and Employment Coordinator for the Township, said, “Everything here is under one hat. I tell my clients, get the list [of businesses] and apply before you come. Then you get your 60 second commercial right here.”
“They bring a lot of employers to one location,” said local laborer Edward Senzig. He has been in the manufacturing industry for years. “It allows job seekers to see multiple opportunities at the same time.”
North Township Trustees is a social services agency that helps people find employment and pay their bills. The Job Fair allowed them to connect their clients to companies like Calumet Brewing, ISM Security, and Burger King.
Not every booth, however, was there to hire attendees. Laura Lovell, Community Outreach Coordinator for NorthShore Health Center, explained that, “We’re here for a dual purpose. First, to let everyone know about the website with our job postings. But we’re also here to let people know about the services we offer. The people here that are looking for jobs may also need healthcare, insurance, physicals.. You can’t have a job without health.”
Many schools rented booths as well, to let the public know about their degree programs.
Deb Downard, the Directory of Community and Corporate Relations for Marian University, said, “The demand for nurses right now is huge. We feel we have an excellent program that allows people a chance to explore nursing. It’s a great opportunity.”
No matter what career a heart is set on, the Job Fair has a path for it. From government work to the food industry, the options are out there. The Dream starts here.