Although the next Job and Internship Fair won’t occur on Binghamton University’s campus until spring 2019, students and local residents can still seek employment at the Broome County Mini Career Fair in Downtown Binghamton.
The monthly event, held on Tuesday, is sponsored by the New York State Department of Labor and Broome-Tioga Workforce. It aims to connect jobseekers in the area with local businesses looking to recruit new employees. This month, eight businesses participated in the event, offering positions ranging from entry-level to those requiring professional degrees.
Christian Harris, a labor market analyst for the Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics, wrote in an email that the fair is designed to be a nonthreatening, intimate way to connect with businesses from various industries. Lasting only 90 minutes, the event allows each jobseeker to spend a few minutes speaking with representatives from companies they are interested in working for.
“This smaller scale event has actually proven to be very effective as it allows jobseekers the opportunity to make a more personal connection to company representatives,” Harris wrote.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Broome County unemployment rate rests at 6.3 percent, almost two times higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. To combat unemployment in the area, the Department of Labor and Broome-Tioga Workforce have coordinated career fairs in the community for years. The Workforce primarily focuses on preparing and training jobseekers before connecting them to local businesses through the fairs, which the Department of Labor coordinates. Outside the Mini Career Fair, Broome County hosts a variety of other events for jobseekers, including the Greater Binghamton Chamber Annual Job & Career Fair at SUNY Broome.
According to Kimberly Lynch, a recruiting and training specialist for Mirabito Energy Products, the fair also gives local companies a new way to attract applicants outside of advertising at their primary locations.
“Mirabito decided to participate in the event as it is good public relations to have an appearance in the community,” Lynch wrote. “It is important to the community that they know Mirabito is offering employment.”
Another participant at the fair, the Quality of Life Agency, is using the event as an opportunity to reach out to local veterans and their families. Its services include providing housing, employment, education and health care. Jim O’Shea, director of career development at the Quality of Life Agency, wrote in an email that the event is a great asset for companies to look for workers or to reach out to clientele.
“We sit down with the client to talk about their goals and needs,” O’Shea wrote. “We then help them to navigate the way by getting them set up with the right professionals that can assist them.”