Trumbull job fair to benefit employers, job seekers

Photo of Brian Gioiele

TRUMBULL — Area businesses and public and private agencies are joining forces to aid job seekers in not only finding employment but also providing tips on obtaining that desired position.

The “Moving Forward Regional Hiring Event” - featuring more than 50 businesses - is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 9 from 10 to 3 p.m. at the Trumbull Marriott Shelton, 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull.

“The pandemic has really disrupted so many parts of our lives and big one of those parts is the jobs, careers sector,” Beryl Russell, sales executive with Trumbull Marriott Shelton, said, “for both the employer and the employed as furloughs and severances were unexpected and both sides felt the negative effects.”

Russell said when Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell approached Trumbull Marriott with the idea of a job fair, “we knew we wanted to be involved as a partner because this employment situation is not unique to just one industry but to practically all industries.”

“This collaborative effort is being held in response to the demand for qualified labor from our members and other area employers,” Purcell said.

“(This event) also coincides with the planned phase-out of the Federal Supplemental Unemployment Benefits scheduled to expire on Sept. 6,” Purcell said about the importance of this program for businesses and potential hires alike.

Purcell said the Valley Chamber joined with fellow sponsors, the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, The WorkPlace, Inc., Career Resources, American Job Center, and the Connecticut Department of Labor in presenting this event, which comes at a time when employers in some sectors are struggling to attract workers, he said.

“Now is the time to find a job,” Joseph Carbone, president and CEO of The WorkPlace, said. “The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating, leaving thousands without employment and in doubt about their personal recovery.

“It is more important than ever to get back to work and avoid long term unemployment. The longer a person is unemployed the more difficult it becomes to re-enter the job market,” Carbone added. “The Moving Forward Regional Hiring Event is an opportunity to get your foot in the door and take that step towards employment.”

TEAM, Inc., President and CEO David Morgan said the timing of this event could not be better, considering the sunsetting of unemployment and many other COVID relief supports in the month ahead as well as the unprecedented levels of employer vacancies across many sectors.

“Those who attend will experience the full array of job opportunities and new connections and possibilities for their future,” Morgan said, “across a wide spectrum of skill sets and responsibilities relevant to both entry-level as well as seasoned/experienced job opportunities.”

In addition, Morgan said TEAM will showcase many immediate and future supports that can eliminate or reduce barriers to gainful employment including childcare, housing assistance, COVID assistance, and other critical financial hardship relief that can be a bridge to obtaining gainful employment.

“At TEAM we are seeing hundreds of people every week seeking help with childcare, housing assistance, other basic necessities of life, and new opportunities for sustainable employment,” Morgan said.

The exhibitors cover a cross-section of businesses, from banking and finance to construction, healthcare to hospitality, manufacturing to senior care, plus some nonprofit industries.

“In addition, there will be a total of eight resource partners providing support and assistance on issues ranging from childcare, transportation, job training and public health,” Purcell said. “The WorkPlace, Inc. will also host a series of workshops on issues such as resume writing and interviewing skills.”

Nicole Russo, president and CEO of Seymour-based Microboard, praised Purcell and the chamber for setting up this event.

“The right people in the right position are critical to Microboard’s continued success,” Russo said. “The pool of available candidates has changed in our area due to COVID-related issues, so hiring has become more challenging.”

Microboard, in business for 38 years, manufactures electronics for defense, medical, industrial and telecom customers.

Russo said her company is growing and seeking individuals “to manufacture the most advanced technology for our countries warfighters and Fortune 500 customers, while also helping Microboard continue to support our long-term global humanitarian partners.”

She said the company offers in-house training programs, certifications and a career path from entry level to senior professional.

Purcell said event organizers strongly urge people in attendance to wear masks during the program. There will also be hand sanitizer available for guests throughout the day.

When the chamber began planning this event, the state was “fully opened” and overall general positivity was gaining momentum.

“But, as we continue to look for the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, companies and organizations still need employees and there are many people looking for their next job/career opportunity,” Russell said. “The past year and a half has taught us to err on the side of caution when it comes to interactions so we will safely execute the job fair following the State and CDC guidelines.”