In Secaucus, Hudson County entities team up for 1st job fair during pandemic

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The Hudson County One Stop Career Development Center, in conjunction with the Hudson County Schools of Technology and the Jersey City Employment and Training Program, hosted a job fair at the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus parking lot in Secaucus today – the first one they’ve held during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our local economy and the livelihoods for so many in Hudson County,” said County Executive Tom DeGise said in a statement earlier this week.

“This job fair is critical to our economic recovery, and I am proud of the work that the Hudson County One-Stop, Hudson County Schools of Technology and Jersey City Employment and Training Program have done to make this event possible.”

“The Hudson County One Stop serves as a lifeline to help individuals achieve their academic and career goals every day of the year,” added Steve Smith, the director of the career development Center.

“We’re here for the community of Hudson County to connect job seekers with employers,” said Keri Sullivan, the director of grants and workforce development programs for the Hudson County Schools of Technology.

Additionally, John Toscano, the business customer representative with Hudson County One Stop Center, was one of the lead organizers of the job fair.

He said there was a great need for the job fair since the unemployment rate in Hudson County is high and many companies are looking to hire.

“Despite facing challenges, we’ve remained committed to these goals and have identified ways to continue providing services to Hudson County residents,” Smith said.

Under normal circumstances, the Hudson One Stop Center held several large-scale job fairs in gymnasiums before COVID-19.

“Most of the employers probably haven’t recruited in a while, other than recruiting virtually. This a great event to recruit face-to-face outdoors,” he continued.

He estimated between 550 job seekers came by throughout the day and that many prospects were hired on the spot, while others will hear back soon.

Roughly 50 vendors, including building trades labor unions, from across the region attended. Education, hospitality and retail, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation industries were among the many represented at the job fair.

One of the more prominent employers was the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, which was hiring lifeguards, sales and retail clerks, payroll analysts, engineering managers, among other positions.

The carpenters and the plumbers union were also both looking for apprentices for their respective programs.

“We’re always involved in any kind of job we can give opportunities to local residents where they can have a career instead of a job,” said Thomas Hurley, a council representative for the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Local 253.

He noted they provide training to  those in Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, and Essex Counties.

A variety of employers were recruiting job seekers, including the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, and the Lutheran Senior LIFE Pace program.

Employers were also hiring for many warehouse positions.

Furthermore, Sullivan thanked Superintendent of Schools Amy Lin Rodriguez, Board President Craig Guy, Board Secretary Joey Muniz, and their staff for helping to manage the event.

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