Hundreds show up for Queens Center job fair

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THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis
Hundreds of job seekers flocked to Queens Center Mall for an employment and recruitment fair on October 20.THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis Hundreds of job seekers flocked to Queens Center Mall for an employment and recruitment fair on October 20.
THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis Hundreds of job seekers flocked to Queens Center Mall for an employment and recruitment fair on October 20.

Finding employment in the current economy can be challenging, but job seekers were recently provided a big break – 1,200 available positions in one location.

The Queens Center Mall partnered with Borough President Helen Marshall to host an employment and recruitment fair on Thursday, October 20, during which hundreds of people applied for over a thousand jobs at 26 different businesses.

“We are looking to help people in the borough of Queens and beyond become employed,” said Dawn Simon, senior manager of marketing for Queens Center. “We know that there are tough times right now and people are looking for work. Our retailers have needs to fill open positions, and we know that people in our community need those positions. So it is a win-win.”

The fair, which was held in the mall’s food court between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., provided job seekers the opportunity to be pre-screened and interviewed for seasonal retain positions within the mall and across the city.

“Right now, I don’t have a job and I have three kids,” said Rosa Lopez, who remained at the fair throughout the day. “This is a foot in the door for me to try and get a position here. I’m very glad this fair happened, and hopefully I’ll get a job today.”

Service agencies were also present in order to assist immigrant workers, regardless of their status.

The mall organized the event to accommodate for an expected increase in customers during the holiday season. Although the positions may only be temporary, those in attendance were not discouraged in their search for employment.

“Even though we are seeing economic struggles right now, I think it is great stores are hiring, even if it is seasonal,” said Sevon Blake. “I really do need a second job right now to help my family, so part time works for me.”

Among the businesses looking to fill positions were Macy’s, A/X Armani Exchange, American Eagle Outfitters, GameStop, Verizon Wireless and Victoria’s Secret.

The fair was appreciated equally by employers and potential employees.

“This job fair has made it extremely easy to find someone,” said Miguel Valentine, the manager of Zales. “We get fewer applicants walking in the store, so it is good to have a job fair where we can get our hands in over a hundred applications. I’d definitely be happy if they did this again.”