YORK — More than 400 people showed up to fill out applications and get other assistance in finding work Thursday during the second annual job fair sponsored by the York Police Department and Tender Hearts Ministries.
The fair attracted 81 people last year, said York Police Chief Andy Robinson. This year’s event at the York Recreation Center attracted about 300 people in the first 30 minutes, he said.
More than 400 registered during the four-hour event.
Robinson said police did more to get the word out about this year’s event, one reason for the big surge in attendance. But Ainslee Moss, president of Tender Hearts, said the still-struggling employment picture in Western York County is another likely reason.
“It’s not getting better,” Moss said about the overall job outlook. “And a lot of what we’re seeing is people coming to us and they don’t have a GED yet. And they have to have that to get the job.”
She said Tender Hearts offers GED tutoring.
Bridgett Crawford, 31, and Antwain Carter, 22, both of York, were busy filling out applications. “I’m looking for anything,” said Crawford, who said she has been out of work for about a year.
Amanda Parris, a unit director with Bojangle’s, one of 22 vendors or employers that attended the job fair, said she collected about 60 applications in the first half-hour of the event.
“A lot of people are looking for work,” Parris said.
Cathy Miskelly, 51, of Hickory Grove, said she has been looking for work since March, when she was laid off from her medical office data entry post, a job she’d held for 25 years.
“I have not had the first interview,” said Miskelly, who was trained as a surgical technician and has also done work in medical account billing. She also has good receptionist skills.
“I am desperately seeking a job,” she said. “I’ll work at Walmart, a convenience store, it makes no difference.”
Miskelly was getting a free haircut, offered to all attendees. The fair also included a clothing closet where each participant could pick up a free interview business suit or outfit.
Bank of America offered 30-minute sessions throughout the fair that included coaching on how to navigate the application and interview process and other job-hunting tips.