WCA's Blueprint and Westchester's Higher Ed and Business Communities Strengthen Partnership for Second Annual Career Fair
Today’s job seekers spend a lot of time sending resumes to recruiters online, hoping to land an interview, and a job. But sometimes you can’t beat face-to-face interaction between applicants and employers. And the proof is in the over 2,000 job seekers who lined up Friday to introduce themselves to 140 employers gathered for the Westchester County Association’s second annual job fair, Recruit Westchester...
Above: Ana Yee, Berkeley College; Nicole Brodsky, Mercy College; Janet Hasson, Journal News Media Group; Marissa Brett, WCA; Dori Clarke, Empire City Casino; Angelina Bassano, Pace University; Diane Spizzirro, College of New Rochelle.
Held at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, the event brought students and alumni from 15 local colleges and universities together with recruiters hailing from large and small companies and nonprofit organizations—from Cablevision and Empire City Casino to Key Bank and Family Services of Westchester. The event was an outgrowth of a historic agreement, brokered by the WCA, between Westchester’s higher education institutions and companies seeking talent, said Marissa Brett, executive director of economic development at the WCA.
“This fair ramps up our efforts to compete globally,” she said. “Not only are we showcasing student and alumni skills, but we are introducing them to local companies and nonprofits looking to keep up-and-coming talent pool right here in Westchester County. And that’s good for our county’s growth.”
Employers sought the best and brightest people Westchester has to offer—and they found what they needed at Recruit Westchester. “We’re back for a second year in a row because of the talent pool here,” said Patti D’Alton, Director of Human Resources at O’Connor Davies, an accounting firm with offices in Westchester and Fairfield Counties. “It’s a great, diverse mix of students and alumni from schools to be proud of.”
Nonprofit organizations—a major employer of Westchester’s workforce—found plenty candidates of interest as well. Sandra Natoo, a recruiter at ARC of Westchester, a nonprofit agency in Westchester serving children and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities, said the candidates’ professionalism was impressive.
“They were enthusiastic, and terrific at selling themselves,” said Natoo, who collected many resumes from students and graduates with psychology and speech pathology backgrounds. She said she could envision hiring some of them as community instructors, school psychologists and clinical directors. Daina Brown was looking for a full-time job in accounting and social work, and found the job fair to be a great way to get face time directly with employers.
“Here, I’m able to make myself stand out from the crowd—to be more than an online resume,” said the College of Westchester alumna and Yonkers resident.
Amal Baidas, student at Mercy College, agreed. “There are so many employers to meet here and it’s a great experience for me to have while I’m still in college.” Baidas stopped by the Digital Arts Experience booth looking for information on internships. The professional workspace in White Plains houses several tech firms, including Counterspace, a multimedia design firm.
“This is a proactive group here,” said Christina Collins, a Counterspace account manager. “Taking the time to dress and meet with prospective employers speaks volumes about their motivation to find jobs and careers.”