MOOSIC — Hundreds of people looking for work headed to PNC Field for Lackawanna County’s first job fair in quite some time.
It was the county’s attempt to drive down the area’s almost nine percent unemployment rate.
Lackawanna County commissioners lined up about 70 employers and 1,700 available jobs.
Terry Mandigo from Taylor was just hoping there would be something for her and her husband. Both were laid off recently.
“There’s just nothing much out there; the economy is just so bad. You can see by all the people here that really need work.”
Unemployment in Lackawanna County hovers just below nine percent. In an attempt to drive down that percentage, county officials planned the first job fair of this size in quite some time.
Throughout the day, people from many different areas and different backgrounds met with hopeful employers.
Recent college grads Like D.J. Nat from Plains were hopeful too that one of those jobs would be for them.
“I’m a computer science major. Eveyone’s telling me it won’t be hard to find a job but I’m still having trouble. I’m checking web sites, but it’s a tough time I guess. There aren’t a lot of jobs out there.”
“Online I did a lot of applications but I never like that, because I’d rather meet someone face to face. I feel like i have a better shot shaking someone’s hand, you know, and just presenting myself,” said Evan Gundersen of Hamlin.
Lackawanna County commissioners have never held a job fair like this before. They were worried no one would show up, but the parking lot was full at PNC Field. Commissioners say that’s a good thing, but also a very telling sign of the economic climate in Lackawanna County.
“We have a great deal of quality, skilled, highly-trained workers in northeastern Pennsylvania, especially in Lackawanna County, and we want to make sure that we connect the dots between them and the great employers that we have,” said Commissioner Corey O’Brien,(D) Lackawanna County.
Commissioners Corey O’Brien and Jim Wansacz say if this job fair is successful, they hope to hold others like it, because they say the local economy can’t be changed overnight.
Alyson Urie and her brother Nathanael from Tunkhannock didn’t leave with jobs, but far fewer of their resumes and some hope for the future.
“It makes me feel better I’m not the only one out here looking for a job.”