Job fairs packed with prospective employees

February 19, 2009 7:21:13 PM PST
The number of laid off workers getting unemployment jumped to an all time high to nearly five million. And more than 600,000 people filed new unemployment claims last week. Amid all that bad news, people packed a job fair on Thursday in San Francisco.

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The conference room in the State Employment Building was filled to capacity. The Aeroteck Employment Agency was accepting applications for scientists, technicians and engineers.

Michael Jones is 30. The computer specialist was laid off two years ago. The longer he's out of work, the harder it is to get work.

"It's lack of experience and pertinent work history," said Jones.

Some jobs were entry level.

"Manufacturing associate for example, a medical receptionist, engineering technician," said Renee Posey from Aeroteck Scientific.

Many in the room said they were looking for any kind of work.

Chris DiPasquale is an unemployed cook. He's also homeless.

"Mostly, it's been sleeping on a friend's couch or floor or sleeping in parking garages," said DiPasquale.

"I have a degree in cell molecular biology and I went through the city college program for biotech," said Amy Reed.

Reed worked in bio-tech and then was a science teacher who was laid off more than a year ago.

"I've gotten no phone calls and maybe one interview in a year and a half," said Reed.

Reed is the perfect candidate. She is energetic and confident as she works the room. Although qualified for the senior scientific jobs, she is willing to take anything that's available now.

Reed was one of about 100 jobseekers who showed up, no one expected a job on the spot and what they got was a ray of hope.

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