MAIN STREET JOURNAL – Compared to last year, the number of available job openings more than tripled at the second annual Marlborough Works! Job Fair held at the Courtyard by Marriott Marlborough last week. The event attracted approximately 400 jobseekers looking to fill over 300 open positions. That’s three times more jobs on offer than during the fair’s inaugural run in June 2012, which showcased just over 100 openings.
The free event, organized by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in conjunction with Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), was part of Mayor Arthur Vigeant’s initiative to increase local employment. The mayor, who was onsite to meet and greet participants, said the increase in job opportunities is a strong sign of an improving local economy.
“This year, we had a diverse range of jobs from warehousing to high-level engineering and everything in-between,” said Vigeant. “Marlborough has a fantastic employment base-well-educated, hard-working people and if companies can pick out one person from the crowd, it not only saves them a fortune in advertising and online activity, but it puts one of our local residents to work close to home.”
More than thirty small and large companies from various industries took part in the fair. Among them were Boston Scientific, Bose Corporation, Raytheon, Hologic, Weetabix, Ken’s Foods, Marlborough Hospital, and many others. Employers represented about a dozen different industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, finance, renewable energy, and biotechnology.
City Council President Trish Pope, who toured the fair alongside Mayor Vigeant, said the arrival of new companies to the city has helped the local job market grow. “There are a lot of new opportunities and a lot more jobs out there locally, because we’ve brought so many more companies into the city now,” said Pope. “And from a social aspect, I think it’s nice for our residents to know that their community cares and that there are corporations here in the city that are here to help and employ them.”
Stuart Leinson from Marlborough-based Raytheon was thrilled to see the lineup at his company’s table. “As a recruiter, you don’t get as much face to face time these days,” Leinson said. “So it’s a pleasure to get a handshake in and talk to people.”
Lindsey Mastrototoro, an account manager for Randstad recruiting on behalf of Bose Corporation, agreed that meeting applicants in person is the best way to assess if they’re the right fit for the job. “You get such a wide range of applicants” Mastrototoro said. “At the very least, you’re building your network and at the very best, you’re putting a lot of great people to work.”
Dan Corrigan from Marlborough-based Noon Turf Care agrees that a job fair is a great place to meet jobseekers, but also a nice opportunity to reach future customers. “There are a lot of local people that we haven’t reached out to yet,” said Corrigan. “We’re using this as an opportunity to speak to them directly.”
While waiting for his turn at the Bose stand, recently-unemployed Thomas Gorham was hoping to find his next dream job in communications. “You could sit there and go online all the time,” Gorham said, “but nothing beats meeting potential employers face to face and, I hate to use this word but, sell yourself.”
Having been out of work for many months, Marlborough resident Martine Orneas said she was ready to take any job that doesn’t require physical labor. “I can’t work in manufacturing, because my body can’t handle it,” Orneas said. “The only thing I can do is administrative work. I hope I can find something here.”
Also hopeful and patiently waiting in line was Afghan war veteran, Michael Moré. Having worked for his previous company for nearly two decades, Moré lost his job in IT just fifteen months after returning from combat service. “The last time I did a job interview was in 1994,” Moré said. “So much has changed since then. I think now networking really is the key, and that’s why I am here. I’m hopeful this fair will lead to something.”
Last year’s job fair resulted in about fifteen hires. “If we can land 20-25 jobs this year,” Mayor Vigeant said, “this fair would be a huge success.”