Hundreds scout out jobs at Workforce Solutions fair at Indian River Mall

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Several hundred job seekers bounced from booth to booth at the Indian River Mall Thursday, hoping to find a job that would lead to a paycheck.

Vero Beach resident Penny Smith was one such person hunting for something that would help her pay the bills. “We exhaust the Internet just about every day,” Smith said of she and her husband, who had their own home construction business before the real estate bubble burst.

For the last two years, they have been searching for something more stable and “trying to do whatever comes our way,” Smith said.

Nearly 30 businesses set up tables in the Macy’s concourse at the mall, handing out business cards, brochures and applications.

“This is one of the best job fairs,” said Construction Data Corporation corporate recruiter Christie Collins.

She said she was not only impressed with the turnout of prospective candidates but also their quality.

“They’ve done their homework,” Collins said of the job seekers, many of whom are eager, interested and prepared.

With two hours left to the fair, Collins had collected more than 70 applications, of which at least half from seemingly qualified candidates.

At least two candidates, Collins said, could expect a phone call and possibly be on the payroll of CDC News next week.

“There’s not a doubt” about the candidates, she said.

The company is looking to hire eight people to staff CDC’s newest location in Vero Beach.

Other businesses at the job fair included CVS Distribution, Indian River State College, Indian River Medical Center, Route 60 Nissan, insurance firms, and health care companies such as Home Instead Senior Care and Lighthouse Home Health Care, and Visiting Nurse Association.

Businesses located in and near the mall, too, were among those seeking employees. Those businesses included Macy’s, Sears, Talbots, Chick-fil-A, Lowe’s and Home Depot.

Workforce Solutions Vice President of Operations Glenda Matesic said that while turnout was good Thursday, it was not as strong as last year’s job fair, which attracted 1,500 job seekers.

“I’m hoping that’s a good thing,” she said, noting that perhaps fewer people are still looking for jobs in Indian River County.

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