Looking for Work

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HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- According to the Chamber of Commerce, Thursday's job fair had the most employers in the history of the Hazleton Job Fair, a sign that the job market is improving. That's leaving people who are looking for work hopeful.

At 60 years old, Ann Derlunas never thought she'd be here at the Greater Hazleton Job Fair. But in August, she decided to leave work full-time.

"My primary reason for staying at home right now is to take care of my elderly parents. They're 92 and 89," said Derlunas, of Lake Hauto.

But she says taking care of her parents wasn't paying the bills, and finding work hasn't been easy.

"At my age, it's hard because I'm too young to retire and too old to be re-trained, as it was said to me," said Derlunas.

So she's here along with about 800 others to look for work. Members of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce say this is the largest job fair yet with 63 employers, most of which are actively hiring.

It's a sign, employers say, that the job market is improving.

"You come to the job fairs, which are a great help, you know. I know people out there you there are scared, and they don't think there's any jobs available but they actually are," said Jeff Lindberg, of ERG Staffing Services..

Employers and staffing agents that are here say there's a smaller turnout than there has been in previous years so far, but the people who are looking for jobs are hoping that will work in their favor.

Like Teddy Karabetsos of Hazleton, who's been unemployed for a year. He started one job application a while ago through Careerlink and never finished it.

"I just saw them again and they're motivating me to continue what i started," said Karabetsos.

And Ann Derlunas, who says she's glad she came, and hopes these applications will lead to a phone call from an employer soon.

"Never give up and let your best qualities shine," Derlunas said.