The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 6, 2014

VIDEO | Annual job fair draws hundreds of hopefuls

— Debi Balog calls the Cambria County Job Fair that was held Tuesday a “one-stop shop.”

It is an event that annually brings together employers and job-seekers to discuss employment opportunities. This year, 67 businesses and organizations, ranging from large corporations to colleges to nonprofits, set up booths at the Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown Johnstown.

“The benefit of an event like this is that job-seekers and employers can meet a significant number of people in one place at one time,” said Balog, Cambria County Job Fair chairwoman and Johnstown Area Regional Industries’ workforce development director. She continued: “This year, we have a really diverse group of employers, which is really good. I think that’s a sign that the economy is picking up and more and more companies are hiring.”

More than 700 individuals were expected to attend.

“This is a great event,” said Christopher Zakraysek, Hiram G. Andrews Center’s director of institutional management. “We get to meet a lot of people, a lot of prospective employees from throughout the commonwealth.

“We talk to folks really about a lot of potential jobs that are available here. I think it’s important for the area, for Cambria County, to really put forth this event to show the community that we have all these jobs that are available, and let’s get these folks hired.”

Four different workshops were held, including a panel discussion during which employers talked about opportunities and expectations. Programs also were offered for veterans, individuals with employment barriers and adults seeking financial aid to attend school. “This year is probably the best year for our workshops,” said Balog.

Other organizations, such as Veteran Community Initiatives, offered job-search assistance.

“We hope that a lot of our veterans and their family members in the community find positions, find jobs in the area, especially those that are coming back from war times and are looking for jobs,” said Tina Pelesky, community relations coordinator for VCI.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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