FAIR DRAWS JOB SEEKERS, EMPLOYERS
People look for jobs, and sometimes, jobs look for people.
That two-way street saw some traffic last Wednesday at the Business and Employment Fair held in Quinn Coliseum on the Eastern Oregon University campus.
The fair attracted 35 businesses and organizations looking to fill current openings, or drum up interest among prospects for future openings.
The university's Career Services office estimated more than 100 people visited the various booths set up in Quinn Coliseum.
"We handed out brochures to a hundred people, and we know that wasn't all that came," said Jana Parmele of the Career Services office.
Eastern students and members of the general public alike visited with company and agency representatives, exploring employment options in both the public and private sectors.
Not all the businesses and organizations present were looking to fill current openings, though some were.
Those included Avon, Bi-Mart, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the accounting and business consulting firm of Dickey and Tremper.
"Enterprise talked with several people, and had an especially promising interview," said Parmele.
More often, information exchanged between job seekers and employers was tucked away for future reference.
Recruiters from three branches of the armed forces came out for the fair, including the Army, Marine Corps and the Naval Reserve.
"We're getting the word out. I've talked to a few people," Naval Reserve recruiter Scott Smith said shortly after the fair began. "We try to make as many events like this one as we can."
Smith said the Naval Reserve is highly interested in recruiting people with a law enforcement, business or medical backgrounds.
"The Navy is really looking for people for the nursing corps," he said.
A representative from the Oregon Secretary of State's office was also among public sector employers on hand.
"We recruit for entry level positions throughout the year," said David Terry. "We're especially interested in students who will graduate with degrees in accounting, math and computer science."
Terry said most entry-level positions are in the auditing department.
Jason Rice, who was manning a booth for First Investors Corp., said fairs like the one at Eastern often yield valuable contacts.
"We're always expanding our offices on the West coast," said Rice, who is from the national firm's Beaverton office. "We're always looking for hard-working people, and we've had success finding them at career fairs like this one."
The fair was co-sponsored by Eastern, the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Blue Mountain Community College, Walla Walla Community College and the Training and Employment Consortium,
In years past, the university held a career expo and the Union County Chamber a business show for its members.
Those events, held separately, were combined this year.