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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Mystic job fair brings out more than 200 people

    Recruiters meet with job seekers Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, at The Day’s Job Fair at the Hilton Mystic. The Day hosts two job fairs a year in the region, and this one attracted more than 200. (Lee Howard/The Day)
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    Recruiters meet with job seekers Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023, at The Day’s Job Fair at the Hilton Mystic. The Day hosts two job fairs a year in the region, and this one attracted more than 200 people. (Lee Howard/The Day)
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    Mystic ― The Day’s Job Fair at the Hilton Mystic attracted an estimated 225 people Thursday, most of whom were serious job hunters looking for work.

    “It’s fantastic. The quality is very good,” said Samuel Agnello, senior recruiter for Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of nearly 45 businesses represented at the job fair. “A lot more people are currently unemployed vs. what we’ve seen at other events.”

    One of those unemployed people was Lindsay Noel of New London, who has worked with the elderly for the past 25 years but is looking at changing things up, perhaps working with kids in the New London Public Schools or for the Southeastern Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence.

    “It helped,” Noel said. “It really opened up my eyes a little bit to look at other things.”

    Tabitha Shustock of Mystic said she was looking for a new career after being director of operations for two different companies. At the job fair, she happened upon a booth for Goodspeed Musicals, which is looking for a database administrator.

    “I found something I’m really interested in,” Shustock said.

    Booths were populated by folks representing many different industries, including banking and finance, health and social services, hospitality and food services as well as manufacturing. People interviewed said there was a steady stream of job seekers from 9 a.m. till the event’s closing moments at 1 p.m.

    “I found a few places I want to know about,” said Aiana Avis of New London.

    “They had a good exchange,” agreed Avis’ mom Emily Ritter of New London, who also attended with her other daughter, Kayla Chapman of Mystic.

    Kathy Cafiero, regional job developer for the American Jobs Center in Montville, said she was there to inform fair goers about continuing help they can receive to find work as well as inform them about recruitment events every other Wednesday at her offices featuring local companies.

    Joe Kudrick, safety instructor at Electric Boat, said his company is still looking to hire thousands of people in various trades and professions, and not just those associated with building submarines. Outreach in addition to job fairs, he added, have included events such as monster truck shows and golf tournaments.

    “We need so many people,” he said.

    EB announced earlier this year it would be hiring 5,750 people in 2023, a goal that is about two-thirds complete, according to U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who attended the event. Courtney, D-2nd District, said he was a bit surprised at the crowds Thursday considering the unemployment rate locally and nationally is at one its lowest points in years.

    Jaclyn Nardone, marketing manager at The Day, said she sensed a lot more young people at the job fair Thursday than in the past, perhaps ready to look for work after graduating and taking the summer off. She said the fair, which The Day sponsors twice a year, started an hour earlier than usual to try to capture more people who might be able to participate before going in to work their current jobs.

    Among businesses looking for workers was the new Milestone restaurant next to Friar Tuck’s Tavern on Water Street that will be opening in about three weeks in downtown Mystic. Peter Fine, the owner, said he was looking for well over two dozen employees ranging from cooks and waitstaff to other roles.

    Representatives of Southeast Area Transport needed to fill many jobs as well, including bus operators and mechanics but also customer service representatives as the state is looking to expand SEAT services throughout the region.

    l.howard@theday.com

    Editor’s note: This version corrects the schedule for recruitment events at the American Job Center in Montville.

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