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article imageDetroit job fair swamped with thousands of applicants

By Stephanie Dearing     Nov 15, 2009 in Business
There were 400 job openings available through the job fair held in Detroit city on November 13. Cobo Hall, which once was the setting for the musical, Hair and drew famed musicians like The Doors, was the setting for the job fair.
When the City of Detroit threw a job fair earlier this year, the organizers were inundated with at least six thousand job seekers. While it is not known how many turned out for Friday's job fair, it is known that the event was a bust for hopeful applicants. After waiting in line for hours, people found that no-one was taking resumes. Applicants were told to apply for the jobs online. Frustrated seekers also said that most of the jobs were low-paying service jobs, such as the 300 part-time jobs Walmart was offering. It was the same for K-mart, although the company only had 30 or 40 openings. The other jobs were part-time and seasonal. One job seeker told media she'd just been laid off from a job with a new business that had only started up a few months ago. "Aug. 31 was the opening date, the grand opening. Now, they are laying off already. We haven't even had our 90 days in (on the job) to get our unemployment. So I'm looking for any and anything available."
One of the job fair attendees complained to the press that she'd spent the last of her money on parking to attend the job fair, and was angry to find applicants were told to apply online.
Friday's job fair was hosted by Neighbourhood Legal Services Michigan (NLSM). The promotion of the job fair clearly tells applicants to be prepared for on-the-spot interviews and to bring resumes. The five-hour event had promised more than 400 jobs offered by 15 businesses. The promotion for the job fair quoted NLSM's Stability Team Member John Cromer as saying "Putting people to work has to be the central policy behind any attempt to reduce homelessness, crime and unemployment, and improve the quality of life in Detroit. We at NLSM are glad to get Detroit ready and connected to work. Where there is work, there are the possibilities of home ownership, higher education and a safer city."
The unemployment rate for Detroit City rose to 28% this summer.
Cobo Hall is the crown of Detroit's downtown. Built in the late 1960's, the faciility can seat 20,500, a testament to Detroit's heyday.
More about Job fair, Detroit, Job applicants, Neighbourhood legal services michigan
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