job fair

More Than 1,100 Job Seekers Join Christie Administration Airport Job Fair

New Jersey’s annual Airport & Retail/Hospitality Job Fair attracted more than 1,100 job seekers today, as the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network joined in linking people to careers available with companies in and around Newark Liberty International Airport.

The event, held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, was organized with the Essex County One-Stop Career Center and more than 25 employers who conducted interviews and collected resumes from the job seekers. The employers included security firms, hotels, restaurants, retail chains, technical firms and terminal companies seeking to fill hundreds of jobs.

New Jersey businesses involved in leisure, hospitality and retail trade employed nearly 800,000 workers in 2013, which amounted to nearly 25 percent of all private sector workers in the state. That same year the state generated more than $40 billion in tourism demand. These latest available statistics underscore why Retail, Hospitality and Tourism was identified by the state Department of Labor as one of seven industry clusters in which the state must invest workforce development programs.

“We created our Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network to give employers in that cluster the ability to pinpoint the skills, education and training they need to find in prospective employees so that our educational and training institutions can prepare our workers for careers in those growing industry areas,” said Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths. “This annual airport job fair has been one of our most successful ventures each year because it links workers to one of our state’s most vital industries.”

The leadership of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network is shared between Fairleigh Dickinson University in North Jersey and the Richard Stockton College in South Jersey because of the extensive programs each institution offers students in hospitality and tourism management. Job seekers who attended today’s fair were mostly pre-registered, and were given the opportunity to participate in job-readiness training as well as apply directly for retail and hospitality positions located in the airport and surrounding areas.

“This event was unique as job-seekers who attended the trainings received a gold star lapel pin to wear to the career fair to denote to employers their completion of the training. This year we look to not only prepare more job seekers for the workforce but to place an even greater number of them into full time jobs,” said Sandra Bleckman, director of RHT TN at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development created Talent Networks to focus on the specific needs of key industries that employ more than two-thirds of New Jersey workers and pay more than two-thirds of wages earned annually. Talent Networks try to achieve a common goal of helping current job seekers develop relevant skills that lead to job opportunities. The Talent Networks also are designed to help employers find qualified employees and ensure that workers have access to training and educational opportunities that lead to the jobs of the future.

The other six Talent Networks are: Technology and Entrepreneurship; Health Care; Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution; Life Sciences; Advanced Manufacturing; and Financial Services.

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