I was at Congressman Lacy Clay's 5th annual career fair at Harris-Stowe State University. There were more than 100 local companies there. Big names... Ameren, Boeing, First Bank, Best Buy, Office Depot, BJC Health Care... and many, many more.
I'm not looking for a job but I wanted to see what it was like for someone who was so we put a microphone on a willing job seeker and followed her around for aobut 30 minutes. What she found (and we found was frustrating). She showed up hoping to make an impression on someone important, shake their hands and hand over her resume. What she found was no one in position to give her a job... and several people at the booths advising her to go to their websites and apply on line... Some didn't even want a copy of her resume.
I talked to Congressman Clay about this. He told me that should not be happening. He says the companies at the career fair have made a commitment to hire people who come to the fair. He says over the years there's been a lot of good news like that coming out of his event.
When I told him what was happening with the applicant we randomly choose to follow, Clay said, "Some of them (companies) want to get the credit for saying we participated in a career fair. That's not good enough."
Indeed it's not. Being unemployed is tough and the last thing someone looking for work can afford to do is waste their time. Hopefully others had a better experience than the woman we talked to.
Check out my story today at 6pm on News 4 and you'll get a better feel for what I'm talking about.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.