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Rep. Robin Kelly's job fair smashing success, drawing more than 2000 job seekers

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Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) held the "First Annual Second Congressional District Job Fair" at South Suburban College in South Holland on Friday, which attracted more than 2,000 registered job seekers. The crowds of people at the vendor booths were three and four deep, as eager job applicants waited to speak with one of more than 50 vendors.

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The job vendors in attendance were seeking applicants for a variety of open positions in an array of industries, including banking, healthcare, retail, government and transportation.

The face-to-face approach between employer and job seeker is what Rep. Robin Kelly wanted to achieve in sponsoring the event. "Friday's turnout demonstrates the critical need for jobs in the community. There are many, many hardworking men and women in my district who just need a shot at employment."

Rep. Kelly added that the "Job fair is that shot – a chance for them to get in front of hiring managers who are looking to fill positions immediately. I’m very happy that I was able to connect so many job seekers to potential employers and I hope that they all walk away that much closer to gainful employment."

One job applicant who is a resident of the 10th Ward in Chicago, Dave (last name withheld), 31, said that he had applied to some of these same companies online, but thought meeting them face-to-face could be the difference in getting that job. "I have been out-of-work for five months. I am grateful to Congresswoman Kelly for doing this for the community and me.

The employers were as enthusiastic as the job seekers, as they sought out future employees. Walgreens had a big presence at the event, seeking job applicants for a wide variety of positions, including retail store cashiers and retail store management trainees. As a bonus, Walgreens administered free flu shots just for the asking.

Walgreen's pharmacist Cornetta Levi, whose store is located at 8628 S. Cottage Grove, had a goal of 50 free flu shots and was able to achieve that goal. One of Levi's visitors at the Walgreens booth was Illinois State Rep. Elgie R. Sims, whose state office is nearby.

Exelon also had a big presence at the event, as Exelon employee Brad Sabathne cheerfully greeted one job applicant after another, as he explained the various job opportunities with the company and its subsidiaries, which also includes Commonwealth Edison. Other Exelon companies include Constellation, BGE, Peco, and Exelon Generation, all of which had job openings.

The Illinois State Police was well represented by Special Agent Jeff Cartwright, who discussed becoming an Illinois state trooper and guided folks through the application process.

James McHugh Construction Co was well represented by Laura Erda (left) and Natalie Pedrazza (right). The company was searching for Sr. Project Manager and many other great jobs with this long-time Chicago Company.

In addition to Walgreens, Exelon, the Illinois State Police, and James McHugh Construction Company, were the following companies and organizations: A &D Property Services, Advocate Healthcare, ArcelorMittal Riverdale, Argonne National Laboratory, The Art Institute - Chicago & Tinely Park, Awakened Alternatives, BMO Harris Bank, Bimba Manufacturing, CN, Calumet Area Industrial Park, Chase Bank, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago Urban League, Comcast, CSL Behring, Canadian National, Catholic Charities, Chiro One, Combined Insurance, Comcast, CSX Railroads, Dominick's, Exelon, Generis Home Healthcare, Harmony (A Wellness Company), Holiday Inn - Matteson, Home Depot, I'll Show You Technologies, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulations, Illinois Department of Revenue, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois MENTOR, Ingalls Memorial Hospital, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Metra, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MI-Jacks Products, Norfolk Southern Corporation, NUCOR, Omega Tax Service, Pace Suburban Bus Service, PolyAir Corporation, Protection 1, Prudential, Riverdale Medical Center, Sinai Health System, South Suburban College, Taco Bell, Transamerica Insurance, UPS, USPS, VC Enterprises, and Wal-mart.

Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, johnpresta@att.net.

John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.

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