Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

Job seekers not too picky at the fair

SPRING HILL — Many of the 120 people who showed up Tuesday looking for work — competing for maybe 80 jobs — weren't too picky.

"I'll take anything," said Claudia Fernandez of Spring Hill, who was first in line for the job fair at Career Central on Forest Oaks Boulevard.

The sentiment was nearly universal among the job seekers as seven businesses, ranging from CiCi's Pizza to Bealls department stores in Spring Hill and Hudson, looked to fill temporary, mainly seasonal, vacancies.

Most of the jobs were entry-level positions, likely paying from the minimum wage of $7.65 to maybe $10 an hour, said Dianne Perkins, a business relations specialist for Career Central, which matches employers and employees in Hernando and Pasco counties.

A similar session will be held today in Pasco County from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Career Central office at 4440 Grand Blvd. in New Port Richey.

Fernandez, a 42-year-old who was a teacher in her native Argentina, worked part time until 2009 at a Hampton Inn and hasn't since. She arrived about 90 minutes before the doors opened Tuesday. About 40 people waited behind her, many with resumes in hand.

With Hernando County's unemployment at 10.8 percent, the highest in the Tampa Bay area, Shelby Kenngott of Spring Hill said she hunts for work every afternoon between the time her classes at a cosmetology school end and she picks up her daughter from day care.

She said she would take anything offered.

"I'm a single mom. I want to make sure I have a nice holiday for my little girl," she said. "I look for jobs every day. When I go shopping, I put in an application."

Kenngott, 24, has been out of work since the end of June, when a temporary receptionist position ended.

She doesn't understand why anyone would be choosy about work.

"There are people out there who are really picky about what they get. I don't think people can be picky now," she said.

Christian Concepcion, 28, felt some hope after making the rounds of employers at the job fair. The Spring Hill resident has been unemployed for two months since a job through a temporary employment service he'd had for three months ended. Before that, he was laid off from a pest control job he'd held three years.

"I'll take basically anything now. I feel pretty good. Some of them want me to apply in person. Hopefully I'll hear from them," Concepcion said.

Jill Campbell, though, wasn't feeling optimistic after she finished talking to the prospective employers.

An unemployed accountant, Campbell, 49, of Spring Hill, has two master's degrees and said the retail representatives may have viewed her as overqualified.

"It's not said in so many words, but I'm not hopeful about today," she said. "I'll take anything. But I'm single, so I have to be able to support myself."

Career Central holds job fairs in Hernando or Pasco about every other month. A job fair with 17 employers looking for health care workers on Aug. 28 drew 215 people, Perkins said.

Managers of the Bealls stores were more than pleased with the crop of job seekers that turned up Tuesday.

"I think we're going to do pretty well. We may be fighting over the best," said Clark Nash, manager of the department store in Hudson, who was looking to fill about 10 holiday openings. There were another 17 openings for the store on State Road 50 in Hernando County.

"The quality of the average applicant we talked to today is better than the average walk-in we get," he said. "There are eight I want to interview and five I'd probably give a job to now."

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18