RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Job seekers flocked to the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook Friday for the second annual Recruit Westchester job fair.
More than 140 employers were stationed around the hotel, ready to meet potential applicants for full-time and part-time jobs and internships. Students and alumni from 15 Westchester County colleges were brought in on shuttle buses to hear about positions, network and distribute their resumes.
Gail Green and Donna Bozek from Software Guidance & Assistance were among the employers eager to meet the applicants. The IT staffing company, which has offices in Tarrytown, was hiring for entry level positions for their training program, part-time support and internships.
"The first year we had a hire from the event," Green said. "He was a recent college graduate from Iona, and he's already moving up."
Tricia Golden and Cathy Bomba were at the event representing Search for Change, a not-for-profit that helps people with mental disabilities learn life skills and find work. They said that the job fair gave them the opportunity to inform people about the rewarding experiences of working in the non-profit sector.
"We actually look for people who are interested in going into sales, because a lot of our counselors need to have that sales mentality to go out and build relationships with employers," Golden said.
"We were here last year and we're back because we had tremendous success," Bomba said. "Sometimes people looking for a job might not be thinking about going with a non-profit, so this is a great way to get our name out there and get information out about the work that we do."
Chris Pastore, a student from Westchester Community College, said that the event exceeded her expectations. Pastore enjoys networking, and has attended many job fairs in the past but said that this one was much larger than any she's been to. She was looking for a position in the hospitality industry, such as an administrator or front desk coordinator for an office. She said that getting to meet employers in person made her feel more hopeful about landing a job.
"I'm old school. I'm not crazy about shooting my resume off through the airwaves, where you don't know if it's even reaching anybody at all," she said.
Dian Atkins, a student at Mercy College, said she also liked being able to meet people in person, because she was better able to pick up on whether or not they would be interested in hiring her.
"It's very busy." she said. "It's interesting to see all these organizations I'm not that familiar with."
Atkins is studying to become a school counselor, with the hope of landing a position in a school. Walking around and meeting representatives from other industries, she was keeping an open mind. "That's what I'm going to school for right now, but I'm still open to do something different."
Last year more than 3,000 students and alumni participated and the event was even bigger this year, said Marissa Brett, executive director of the Blueprint for Westchester, which organized the event.
"The success far exceeded our expectations," Brett said. "Westchester County has a highly educated workforce, dozens of universities, a growing economy and a vibrant business community."