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Published:June 15th, 2008 11:55 EST
Hunting at the Central Florida Job Fair

Hunting at the Central Florida Job Fair

By Mary-Elizabeth Hittel

Every day the Central Florida Employment Council helps 40 to 50 people prepare for and find jobs. Every year the CFEC holds six job fairs that put seekers even closer to employment.

At the Nov. 7, 2007, job fair, applicants were hopeful. Lyn Chen, 29, was at the fair looking for a job in business management. "Hopefully," Chen said, "(I`ll get something). I`m keeping my fingers crossed."

Christian Tran, 27, went to the fair to find a job in operation management.

"I`ve used the CFEC`s job fair before," Tran said. "They always have great information and are a fantastic resource."

Like Chen and Tran, Janeth Morales, 51, was also looking and hopeful.

"This job fair provides a great opportunity," Morales said. "I really want to get a good job."

Morales, who is from Colombia, has a background in business and hoped that a new job would help improve her English.

"Coming from Colombia and working in business, you speak Spanish," Morales said. "It provides a chance to do better."

Paulette Weir of the CFEC said 117 employers came this year to Central Florida Fairgrounds looking to fill positions, ranging from the Orange County Public Schools Transportation Division and Orange County Corrections to The Peabody Orlando.

"The reason that the job fair works so well is because there are so many employers in one spot," Weir said. "The more employers there are, the more jobs available and the more likely the right person for that job will be found and hired. It gets people out to meet face to face"

Despite all of the opportunities, a few seekers left disappointed.

Melissa Rosario, 26, said: It is discouraging when you approach a table prepared to talk and apply and all they do is tell you to check out their Web site. "I could have done that at home. But the job fair is definitely helpful."

Ray Flynn, 32, felt the same.

"It`s been all right," Flynn said. "I`m discouraged because most tables haven`t taken any resumes and I don`t want to look at employers` Web sites. I wanted to get somewhere meeting face to face."

But others left with a sense of accomplishment.

It was a good experience and definitely helpful," Rosa Ortiz, 47, said. "I want to get a job in my field, in insurance. I think the fair might have helped me do that."

The CFEC is a non-profit organization that has served Central Florida for 15 years.  Along with job fairs, resume help, childcare and even snacks are provided to job seekers to help boost confidence and focus.

"If people don`t have to think about their child being alone or worry about buying the next meal, they can think about finding a good job for them," Weir said.

To contact the CFEC call: 407-834-4022.