It was deja vu for Ann-Marie Coppola as she attended the job fair last Friday at The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale.
The fair was held in the space her former employer, the Stein Mart Department Store, occupied. Coppola was laid off 18 months ago when Stein Mart closed.
Coppola, who lives in Ridgewood and had worked for Stein Mart as a customer services representative for five years, said she came to the job fair to see what was available. She said she was looking for part-time employment and had left a few resumes with employers at the fair.
“I’m hoping that something will come from that,” she said.
More than 2,400 people attended the fair, sponsored by state Senator Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who has sponsored three previous job fairs in the community.
“We tried to figure out where the jobs are, then go out and get them,” Addabbo said. “The job climate is tumultuous right now ... People have come here in such large numbers because they need to find a job to provide for themselves and their families.
He said the 115 businesses had about 1,300 openings.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for Queens was 7.7 percent for August.
Coppola’s former coworker, Margaret, who did not give her last name, lives in Glendale. She said she was looking for employment in the human resources area or in geriatric social work.
Kim, another borough resident, worked as a recruiter for the Fire Department until she was laid off in 2010 due to city budget cuts. She said she is now looking for a position as a recruiter or community liaison, and got two or three leads.
Susanne Fusco and Carlos Rodriguez of the state Department of Labor were on hand to make job seekers aware of their apprenticeship program, which provides full-time on-the-job training in the buildings trades.
Companies participating at the job fair ran the gamut from nonprofit organizations to state, city and federal government, colleges and private employers.
Among the employers were: Eihab Human Services, Inc.; Lifespire; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Secret Service, Federal Air Marshals and Internal Revenue services; the city Board of Elections, Department of the Aging and FDNY; Metropolitan Transit Authority; the Port Authority; the state departments of Labor and Taxation & Finance; Pace University; National Grid; Delta Airlines; FedEx; Coca Cola; Aflac; TD Bank and Frito Lay.
A representative of H&R Block said the financial services firm is looking for the administrative position of client service professional for its offices.
“You’re the first person and last person that the client sees,” she said. She said those who stopped by were beginners who are just entering the job market and experienced managers laid off due to the poor economy.
Stephanie, a senior human resources manager for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, said the firm has positions open in food and beverage, surveillance, accounting and communications.
Since the job fair was being held in Queens, many individuals not familiar with Empire City thought they were applying for jobs at the soon to be opened Resorts World New York Casino in South Ozone Park.