On Wednesday, the Mercer County Drive-Thru Job Fair welcomed Mercer County residents at the CURE Insurance Arena to receive grab-and-go information about jobs in the area.

New Jersey’s One-Stop Career Center provides job training and employment services for Mercer County residents. Traditionally, there would be an actual job fair where employers set up tables and residents are free to walk through and speak with representatives. Instead, due to the pandemic, the job fair has transitioned to a drive-thru where residents receive a bag full of 85 different flyers from different companies in the area searching for employees.

“I mean, there are so many employers that are desperate for people, people may not know what jobs are open [or] where to apply. The great thing about this packet is that we have a variety of jobs available; entry-level mid-level, professional, warehousing, healthcare, food service…you name it. We have employers looking for it,” said Virgen Velez, The director of the Mercer County One-Stop.

In total, representatives at the job fair handed out 460 bags full of information to Mercer County residents. This is the third “drive-thru job fair” since the start of the pandemic, the first one being in October and the second one in May. “We generally we have it in October, we accelerated this a little bit, because of the end of the $300 federal unemployment benefit,” Valez said. 

The drive-thru fair allows for county workers and residents to maintain a safe distance as they receive the information. Individuals were able to obtain information without the anxiety of meeting employers if they were not ready to do so,” noted County Executive Brian Hughes said. “They were also able to obtain a wide array of employment possibilities in one stop. In their own time, they have the opportunity to review in-depth job information provided to them.”

Anisah Nelson, a recent Drew University Graduate and attendee, explained that she has been trying to find work locally over the past year. Due to the pandemic, it has been hard to find work.  She said that the conciseness of the information in the packet will make her search easier. “Just being able to have a set communication of who’s hiring, and how to get that information, helps,” Nelson said.

The Mercer County One-Stop provides multiple virtual job recruitment on a weekly basis. For more information go to https://www.mercercounty.org/departments/one-stop-career-center.

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