Milford job fair draws dozens of seekers

MILFORD – Residents from Milford and elsewhere tapped into the resources of a job fair sponsored by SHARE Outreach Inc. and the Milford Welfare Department that was held Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the SHARE center.

More than 30 men and women had the opportunity to talk with a quartet of local and regional staffing agencies that fill a wide variety of positions in manufacturing, retail, accounting, light industrial and administrative enterprises. The four included the Leddy Group, Marathon Staffing, Adecco and Wendi’s Cleaning Service.

Recruiter Kelly Hinch, of Merrimack, consulted with dozens of applicants and indicated that some were a good fit for a variety of open positions secured through the Leddy Group, a firm with offices in eight New England towns.

Hinch talked at length with those who approached the Leddy Group table, a space arranged with extra chairs, a supply of pens, note pads and brochures recapping Leddy’s services. She asked some pertinent questions: Would you prefer full time or part time? How far would you travel to go to a job? How soon are you available?

Mike Demers, of Wilton, came prepared with an updated resume. He answered the availability question with a guarantee that he could start as soon as she called him.

“I’d like something in manufacturing,” Demers said. “I’m good at that.”

Bob Marcuccio, of Mont Vernon, an account executive with Marathon Staffing, spoke with 17 of the job fair participants. He said Marathon Staffing specializes in light industrial manufacturing and serves southern New Hampshire.

“We walked away with several candidates we would like to consider for employment in the field of plastics and injection molding,” Marcuccio said. “We thought the job fair was very successful and we thanked everybody that came out.”

Elsewhere in the SHARE center, individuals looking for work talked about their job-seeking efforts and some of the circumstances that led them to the job fair.

Karen Hutchens and her husband, Ed, of Milford, were among them.

Karen Hutchens lost her longtime job at a Stop & Shop grocery store when the company closed all of its New Hampshire stores in late September. Six were shuttered, including one in Milford. Hutchens said she was employed there since the local store opened eight years ago. She said she was shocked when the closure was announced.

“The week before, they were telling us about some new program,” Hutchens said. “The next week, they were closing. I worked in the deli all those years. It was a shock to everyone when they closed.”

Ed Hutchens also was applying for jobs. He is adept at security systems and related door hardware. He said he would welcome work within the same field or in a different one.

“At this point, anything,” he said. “That’s how bad it is out there.”

Katherine Nestor, of Milford, agreed. She maintained a sense of humor as she inquired about administrative work or a job in a retail environment. She has a well-rounded portfolio of skills but has been laid off twice.

“It was nothing that I did,” Nestor said. “That’s just how it works. I don’t really want seasonal. I’d really like part time but if I can’t get it, I’d take full time.”

Susan Drew, welfare director for the Milford Welfare Department, said there are plans in the works to have another job fair after Christmas. The date will be announced via newspapers, fliers, Facebook and emails to SHARE patrons and others. Seasonal workers often are laid off after the holidays, she said, and companies then replenish the vacancies.

“We still have a lot of people in Milford who are unemployed,” Drew said. “Any companies interested in hiring are welcome to be a part of the next job fair. There’s some that really staff up at an event like this.”

Christine Janson, executive director for SHARE, said the SHARE center was a familiar place to many who attended the job fair. The community is aware, she added, that there is a food pantry at SHARE and a clothing barn where one can find winter boots for a child – or an outfit for a job interview. Financial assistance oftentimes is appropriate for some residents and gladly extended.

Janson added that SHARE is an ideal place to hold a job fair. The location offered a “comfortable” atmosphere that generated a pleasant feeling as people met face-to-face with staffing representatives.

“For a person who hasn’t been working, it’s not intimidating here,” Janson said. “It’s a comfortable atmosphere – a very comfortable place to come.”

For more information on SHARE services, visit www.sharenh.org. For information on programs offered through the Milford Welfare Department, visit www.milford.nh.gov.