Kathleen Ebberts of Milford, who said she’s been looking for work for 15 months, was one of more than 1,100 hopefuls who attended a job fair Tuesday hosted by the state’s congressional delega¬tion at Delaware Technical & Community College’s Terry Campus in Dover.
The fair attracted more than 80 employ¬ers, including Beebe Hospital, PPG Indus¬tries, Delaware Hospice, Wesley College and Harrington Raceway and Casino.
Job seekers ranged from young adults just out of college to older individuals, in¬cluding Ms. Ebberts, who have been unem¬ployed for some time because of the ailing economy.
Ms. Ebberts said she has experience in the medical field and is looking for a cleri¬cal or receptionist position in a medical of¬fice.
But her previous years in the workforce can sometimes work against her, she said.
“I have too much experience in some cases,” Ms. Ebberts said.
On the other end of the spectrum is Ka tie Marvel of Milton, who just graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
“I was really nervous about coming home from school,” she said. “ The job market for college graduates is not good right now, but there’s a lot of pressure to find a job.”
Ms. Marvel said job fairs like Tuesday’s provide valuable experience for individu¬als looking to network and meet potential employers.
“It gives you a one- on- one experience so you have to talk to people,” she said.
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., hosted a simi¬lar fair in Wilmington on April 11.
Ruth Sargeant, executive director of Dia¬mond State Youth Inc., attended that event as well as Tuesday’s fair.
Ms. Sargeant said she received more than 100 applications and 150 resumes from the Wilmington job fair and said she expected to receive just as many at the Dover fair.
“It really worked out well for us,” she said of the Wilmington job fair. “ We were even getting phone calls after the job fair because people were passing the informa¬tion on to friends and family. It was a won¬derful networking opportunity.”
Brenda Beissel, public relations coordinator for People’s Place, said the Milford-based nonprofi t organization finds job fairs to be a valuable resource.
“It fills the positions that we need,” she said, adding that People’s Place is “always in need of direct care staff.”
Gov. Jack A. Markell offered brief re¬marks during Tuesday’s job fair, saying Delawareans are “fortunate” to have legislators like Sens. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., Sen. Coons and Rep. John Carney, D-Del., who are willing to organize these types of events.
“We are the most fortunate state in the country, because our members of Congress understand every single day how important it is that they work in Washington to put people in Delaware back to work,” he said. Delaware’s congressional delegation also plans to hold a similar job fair in Georgetown later this year.
Gov. Markell encouraged those attending Tuesday’s fair to come forward if they have any suggestions as to how the state can help unemployed Delawareans find work.
“We very much want to hear from you about your specific ideas about how we can be doing better in Delaware,” he said.
The governor also commended unemployed Delawareans for continuing their search even in difficult economic times.
“To those of you who are looking for a job, thanks for hanging in there,” he said. “We know it’s a tough time and that’s why we wake up every day trying to put more people in Delaware back to work.”
Ms. Ebberts said if she took one thing from the job fair, it was the realization that she is not the only Delawarean looking for work.
“There are a lot of people laid off,” she said.