Career fair to show help is still wanted in central Pennsylvania

University Park, Pa. — Unemployment is on the rise in Pennsylvania and across the nation. A new study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers finds employers expect to hire 22 percent fewer 2009 college graduates than they hired from the Class of 2008. But in central Pennsylvania, it's not all bad news for workers. Employers and Penn State adult students who are about to graduate, as well as University alumni and local residents, can explore job opportunities at the Central Pennsylvania Regional Career Fair on April 22.

The second annual Career Fair will run from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in Innovation Park. The event gives regional employers the chance to meet with prospective Penn State graduates and others who live in this region. Participants can learn about job opportunities and the education needed for these positions.

Mount Nittany Medical Center has job openings and will be at Career Fair "to share information and offer career counseling about the type of education programs that would prepare people for jobs at the medical center," said employment manager Georgiana M. Gallaher. Located in State College, the 207-bed acute-care facility employs about 1,400 skilled health care professionals and support staff.

"We were pleased with the turnout last year," Gallaher added. "We met with a great cross-section of people." This year, the medical center has openings for licensed professionals in health care, including a staff pharmacist, clinical nurse supervisors and staff nurses (RNs). Gallaher added that the medical center also employs people in IT, nutrition and culinary services and other areas.

Jerrie A. Grieb, Comcast human resources professional, attended the event in 2008 and was impressed with the number of employers represented, as well as the number of interested individuals that attended. Grieb said, "Of the approximately five job fairs attended in 2008, this event was by far the best attended." Comcast also will participate in this year's Career Fair. Grieb, whose area is State College/Williamsport, said the company has some positions available. "I will be attending and look forward to providing information to potential candidates regarding where to find a job with Comcast and how to apply," Grieb said.

Central Pennsylvania currently has a workforce of more than 275,000 people ages 16 and over, according to the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation, which oversees Pennsylvania workforce initiatives for this nine-county region, which includes Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. Currently, there are more than 18,000 unemployed among the population of nearly 600,000, resulting in an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.

Career Fair sponsors are Penn State's Career Services and Continuing and Professional Education. Partners include the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Community Diversity Group of Centre County.

For more information about the Career Fair, including a free workshop on resume writing and interview tips from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Bank of America Career Services Center, visit http://www.fairs.sa.psu.edu/CentralPA/.

Penn State Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) delivers professional development and continuing education programs to adult learners at locations across Pennsylvania. CAPE, a unit of Penn State Outreach, uses Penn State's network of 24 campuses and the University's academic colleges to design master's, bachelor's and associate degree programs for adult learners in a wide range of fields. For information, visit http://www.outreach.psu.edu/cape/.

Penn State Career Services offers comprehensive services to all students including career counseling and planning, outreach programming, recruiting and employer services and a wide range of other resources. For more information about this Division of Student Affairs unit, visit http://www.sa.psu.edu/career/.

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Last Updated April 20, 2009