The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 13, 2012

Job fair at UPJ attracts strong turnout

Frank Sojak

JOHNSTOWN — Judith Thomas and Travis Lodolinski, both of Johnstown, and Jason Farquhar of South Fork were among more than 250 people seeking employment Tuesday evening during a Job Summit and Fair at the Living-Learning Center on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

More than 30 employers were at the fair, working to fill 427 vacant positions.

Thomas, who is finishing her doctorate in counseling psychology, is looking for a position as an adjunct professor or a position in a hospital. She also was gathering information on careers for her son, Michael, who was attending a class at St. Francis University and could not make the fair.

Lodolinski, a part-time marketing assistant at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, is looking for a full-time position in the field.

Farquhar, an industrial automotive painter, was looking for another job in his field. He was impressed by the number of prospective employers.

The fair, hosted by Johnstown Area Regional Industries, focused on jobs available in the health-care and manufacturing sectors.

Linda Thomson, JARI president, said U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, came up with the idea for the event.

Bob Knipple, executive director of external relations for Pitt-Johnstown, said the university is proud of the impact it has on the area as an employer and in education.

He said the university is proud of its role in preparing students for positions needed by manufacturers and in the health-care field. The university soon will be breaking ground on a nursing building on campus to expand that program.

Critz said there are many fine schools in the region that can prepare students for the jobs that are needed now and in the future.

He said if every job available in the area was filled now, the local unemployment rate would fall to a level lower than before the recession struck.

A member of the small-business committee in Congress, Critz said he is working to make sure job opportunities continue to increase in the region.


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