The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 12, 2013

Scoping out job opportunities

Cambria fair offers help, encouragement

— Depending on your thought process, you could have viewed last week’s Cambria County Job Fair in a positive or a negative sense.

Positive in the fact it offered help and encouragement for those looking for a job or for a new line of work.

Negative from the perspective that hundreds of potential applicants attended, with hundreds or even thousands more who should have taken advantage of the process. 

Despite unfavorable views that might exist, we applaud the organizers and the 65 exhibitors who gave their time to assist others.

“I think, from our perspective, any time that we can bring job-seekers and employers together, in one place at one time, that’s really the purpose to make that connection,” Debi Balog, Cambria County Job Fair chairwoman and Johnstown Area Regional Industries’ workforce development director, told our Dave Sutor.

Particularly encouraging was that more diversity in the workplace was on display this time around, Balog said, noting the presence of a pharmacy, super market and cleaning agency to go along with the more traditional businesses and industries that annually attend.

“The greatest tool I see at an event like this is networking,” Tom Caulfield, Veterans Leadership Program regional director, said. “You have to let the people know that you’re out there, what skills you might have, what the match could be.”

While economists say the recession is over, our area continues to struggle. Jobless figures remain above both the state and national levels.

A vast majority of people in these parts want employment, and thanks to events such as the Cambria County Job Fair, those without jobs, or those looking to better themselves, can keep abreast of what is available and learn how to better position themselves for jobs.

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