Hundreds attend seasonal job fair in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- It's not even Halloween or Christmas yet, but employers are already hiring for the holiday season. On Thursday, August 2nd, a dozen employers were looking for potential employees at a job fair held at The Shops of Grand Avenue.

Around 1,000 people showed up after the doors opened at 9:00 a.m., hoping to land a job.  Everett Lawrence was one of them.  He was laid off three months ago.

“I'm a unique individual and I'd bring a lot to the company, so I would really love to work,” Lawrence said.

The annual Jobfest provides mostly seasonal positions, but part-time and even full-time jobs as well.

Buy Seasons is hiring approx 1,500 seasonal associates in New Berlin.  We have FedEx Smartpost.  They're hiring approximately 500 seasonal associates,” David Karst, Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Seasonal Workforce Coalition, the group hosting the event said.

In all, there were more than 2,000 positions available.  Some employers, like Buy Seasons, even hired on the spot.

“We're gearing up for the Halloween season in terms of the costumes and the seasonal décor,” Karst, who is also the VP of Human Resources at Buy Seasons said.

“I feel happy actually.  My body's shaking a little bit.  I don't know how to react.  I'm ready to jump around,” Orestege Kimble, who received an offer immediately, said.

Kimble said it was a big relief after months of looking for work.

The current unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 7.6%.  In Milwaukee alone, it's just over 11%, so the need for jobs is high.

“It's a bunch of employers and a lot of people here eager for a job, so that's positive and it's good,” Lawrence said.

Reggie Newson, the state's Secretary of Workforce Development, also came to the Jobfest.  There, he met with employers and potential job seekers, highlighting the efforts to improve employment opportunities for Milwaukee-area workers.

This is the third year the Wisconsin Seasonal Workforce Coalition has hosted a seasonal job fair in Milwaukee.