OWATC job fair helps Top of Utah employers and the unemployed

Mar 3 2010 - 1:16am

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(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) Pete Martinez (left), who was laid off in November, is accompanied by his wife, Marquita, as he fills out an information sheet during a job fair at the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College on Tuesday.
(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) During the job fair, Frank Sano (left), of LDS Employment Resource Services, speaks with Casey Wheeler, who was laid off in May and is looking for a job.
(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) Pete Martinez (left), who was laid off in November, is accompanied by his wife, Marquita, as he fills out an information sheet during a job fair at the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College on Tuesday.
(BETH SCHLANKER/Standard-Examiner) During the job fair, Frank Sano (left), of LDS Employment Resource Services, speaks with Casey Wheeler, who was laid off in May and is looking for a job.

OGDEN -- Amy Clay came to the Career and Networking Fair, held Tuesday at Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, looking for one thing: a job.

Clay has been out of work since August after 10 years doing medical transcription work.

"I'm keeping my options open," she said about her job search. "I'm considering school. I'm reaching my 40s, so if I'm going to (change careers), this is the time."

She said she received good information and saw several job prospects at the fair.

Elsa Zweifel, OWATC marketing manager, said the goal of the fair is to match employers with those seeking employment, while also providing information about the college to help people reach their employment goals.

Last year's fair, she said, drew 2,700 job seekers.

"Our expectation is that we have a bigger turnout than last year," Zweifel said. "The economy hasn't turned around yet. There's still a lot of unemployed people out there."

Kurt Syphers, of West Haven, said he attended the job fair because he was laid off from an information technology management job in November, a job he'd held for 18 years.

"I'm looking mainly for IT jobs," he said. "I really liked it. I'm trying to stay in my field."

Utah unemployment increased to 6.8 percent between December and January, according to the Department of Workforce Services.

In January 2009, the state's rate was 5.6 percent, a 1.2 percentage-point increase over the past 12 months. Approximately 91,500 Utahns were considered unemployed in January 2010, compared with 77,600 a year ago.

Zweifel said more employers attended this year's fair, with an increase in manufacturing companies and health companies.

"We've got a pretty good mix," she said.

Marci Parisi, representing Applegate Homecare and Hospice, came to the fair to make connections and possibly fill openings for certified nursing assistants and registered nurses.

"We're just looking for quality employees, and this is a good way to look at local students," she said.

Zac Zaremba, a representative from TCR Composites in Ogden, also was looking for quality employees to fill four positions. He said the company is expanding and will hire more people soon.

"We're trying to look for people who want to find a job and make an effort to find a job."

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