Consensus is hope at Syracuse job fair

State officials are sponsoring job fairs in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Syracuse. However, Syracuse has the most opportunities in the region, with employers looking to fill over 1,600 positions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the four fairs on Thursday will connect job seekers with 250 businesses offering 5,000 jobs. Attendees also can take advantage of state Department of Labor employment workshops.

At the Syracuse event held inside the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, eager job seekers lined up to talk to prospective employers. Those looking for work represented all age groups like recent OCC graduate, Wayne Hsu, 22.

"It's just annoying how my parents keep saying, you get a job, you get a job, and I'm like no not yet," says Hsu.

There were also experienced employees like Judy Smith who's looking for a new start.

"I've never been out of the workforce before. I mean I had a career at an engineering firm for 24 years," says Smith.

These people are dedicated to finding work, but can get frustrated by the process like Jeffrey Breen who's been looking for work since January.

"It very much is like a needle in a haystack type of thing. There are an awful amount of people looking for less jobs than there normally is," says Breen.

Vince Fillapello of Liverpool is looking for a managerial position, hoping he won't be forced to relocate.

"My wife and bills, they motivate me. But it is discouraging because you feel as if I can do that job and then you send a resume and it sort of goes into a chasm," says Fillapello.

David Chirico, 23, who's finishing up his associate's degree at OCC, plans to attend four job fairs in the next few months.

"I think it's a huge advantage putting a face to a resume as opposed to just sending it online," says Chirco.

Employers like Maria Balcastro of Raymour and Flannigan agree.

"Nowadays people seem to think that everything should be online and we do take applications online but there's nothing that beats a face to face so I think job fairs are really important," says Balcastro.

They may be out of work, but the future is bright for people like Susan Ensminger.

"I have a good resume. I have management and sales experience. So I believe I will be able to find a position," says Ensminger.

The consensus seems to be hope.

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