Job fair gives youths a chance to impress employers

July 27, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The job fair brought young jobs seekers together with employers in a supportive atmosphere. Photo courtesy Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
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It was a match made in heaven. Young people looking for jobs were given the chance to meet with representatives of companies looking to hire employees at a Bushwick job fair sponsored by the non-profit organization Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT).

The job fair, which OBT organized in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor, took place Wednesday at OBT’s Bushwick site, 25 Thornton St., and included training sessions as well as meet and greets with prospective employers.

Young people who came to the job fair could participate in mock interviews with both OBT experts and Dept. of Labor staffers so that they could be ready to meet with job creators.

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Twenty employers took part in the job fair, including Aurify Brands, Avondale Care Group, Concerned Home Managers for the Elderly, Liberty Tax Services, Time Warner Cable, Imacuclean, Fresh Direct, New York City Fire Department and Ovation In-Store.

Bobby Johnson, who is searching for a job, said he was glad he came to the event.

“I think the job fair was a great success. I wanted to come today so I could practice my interview skills and meet employers. I got a lot of information and I can’t wait to go fill out applications so I can get a job in sales,” he said.

“We love partnering with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow to hire candidates for Fresh Direct. It’s a great program and we look forward to partnering with them more in the future,” said Larry Scott Blackmon, vice president of communications for Fresh Direct.

The job fair also marked the re-launch of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Urban Youth Jobs Program in Brooklyn.

Under the governor’s program, companies receive a tax credit for every young person between the ages of 16 and 24 that they hire. And the young people who took part in the job fair were enrolled in Dept. of Labor’s Urban Youth Jobs program, which will allow them to access job seeker services and opportunities through the state.

“The Governor has recognized that this is an underserved population and this program can help young men and women kick start their careers,” Acting Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino said.

Randy Peers, CEO of OBT said offering tax credits to employers can help both job seekers and job creators.

“OBT applauds the governor and the NYS Department of Labor for their positive support around employing opportunity youth. When tax credits are coupled with thoughtful employers with an interest in hiring young people, it’s a win-win for both the city and state,” he said.

Founded in 1983, OBT provides education and job training programs to disaffected young people, including high school dropouts. Young people learn everything from computer skills to the proper way to dress for a job interview.

OBT has five sites in Sunset Park, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Jamaica, and the Bronx.

The young people who participated in the job fair are current or past participants of OBT’s job training and education programs.

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