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Job fair abuzz with hopeful seekers

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD Massachusetts Career Development Institute (MCDI) officials and exhibitors alike crowned the schools first job fair a success.

Conducted on Wednesday, MCDI opened its doors to 20 area employers and to members of the public seeking employment. The result was beyond the expectations of the event's organizers.

Jennifer Webb, the intern specialist at MCDI, explained the school has had job fairs just for students in the past and wanted to include the community at large.

The result was "phenomenal," she said. Over 300 people attended the event.

Webb was one of the several MCDI staffers meeting all of the job seekers. Each visitor received a sheet listing the various employers. Those who stopped at a designated number of companies were then eligible for a drawing of gift baskets.

Job seekers in both jeans and suits went from table to table gathering information. A classroom was set aside as a space where they could fill out applications,

Webb said the jobs offered varied from entry-level positions to skilled jobs. Among the employers at the event were Smith &Wesson, TD Banknorth, Baystate medical Center, Home Depot, Hasbro Games, the Five Colleges and Lowe's.

Sadie Stanley, the schools coordinator of employment resources, said the employer s were "extremely pleased."

She said the employers noted there were "quite a few qualified applicants," and added there was a line of applicants waiting outsides the school before the fair opened at 10 a.m.

Stanley said the fair would be an annual event at the school.

Lynn Vedovelli, the human resource manager for Lowe's, said the fair was "very positive."

She said that Lowe's will be opening more stores in the area and needs a talent pool.

Elizabeth Thomas, an employee service representative for Big Y Foods, said that although the supermarket chain was now hiring now, appearing at the job fair give the company a lust of applicants to call upon when jobs open up.

She said that changes happen quickly in the supermarket business.