Job fair draws more than 500 people in Crestwood
By Mike Nolan email@example.com September 14, 2012 4:52PM
Mike Ray, of Palos Park, speaks with Mariela Calvillo, Nicor Staffing Sourcer, at the Crestwood Job Fair at the Biela Center in Crestwood, Illinois, Friday, September 14, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:32AM
More than 500 people came looking for work Friday at Crestwood’s first village-sponsored job fair, including some people Trustee Lou Presta knows personally.
What he didn’t know is that they’re jobless.
“A lot of people need work, and that’s what we’re trying to do (with the job fair), we’re trying to get people jobs,” he said.
The job fair, held at the village’s Biela Center, drew big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart, which is looking for temporary hires for its Crestwood store during the upcoming Christmas shopping season. Ingalls Hospital, also a participant, says it has 100 job openings it needs to fill, and more jobs could be created once it moves ahead with plans to open an immediate care clinic in Crestwood, on the north side of Illinois 83 east of Cicero Avenue.
Other retailers in the village, including Ultra Foods and Party City, which recently opened a store and has full- and part-time openings, were also recruiting at the job fair, Presta said.
Considering it was the first time the village had hosted such an event, Presta said he was happy with the turnout.
“We’re going to talk about it and maybe we’ll do it again,” he said.
He said he was told by a state employment department official that Crestwood’s jobless rate is 8.1 percent, and he hopes that, beyond the job fair, the village can do more to connect Crestwood residents with businesses in the village that have job openings.
“We made some good contacts” with businesses, he said.