Make us your home page
Instagram

Hundreds of seniors flock to soggy job fair in Tampa

TAMPA — Hundreds of job seekers age 50 and up braved a stormy morning Tuesday to attend a job fair organized in part by AARP.

"Boy, do we want a job or what?" said MaryAnne Cunningham-Ismael, 58, as she dodged puddles in the Museum of Science and Industry parking lot, an umbrella in one hand and briefcase in the other.

Cunningham-Ismael of St. Petersburg has been on the job hunt for about a year after her latest position as a suicide prevention counselor was eliminated. Through the years, she has worked as a director of parks and recreation in Norfolk, an assistant professor in Virginia, a grant writer, even a motivational speaker.

The hunt has taught her to be flexible. "You can't look for what you had before because it's not out there," she said.

Amy Hoster, an event organizer with WiserWorker.com, said that 200 to 300 people had arrived an hour into the four-hour job fair, which began at 10 a.m. Some were clustered outside before the fair began; some waited in their cars during a downpour.

"I'd say this is the biggest turnout we've had for a Florida event … in spite of the rain," Hoster said.

Elizabeth Hmel, 59, of Parrish said it was a pleasant change to go to a job fair where most of the employer interest wasn't focused on 20-somethings. "Imagine the amount of experience in this room," she said.

In addition to booths set up by prospective employers and career-change schools, AARP conducted workshops dubbed "The Power of Promoting Yourself at 50+."

"Our main objective is to try to retool people," said Victoria Funes, associate state director with AARP Florida. "Many of them have been out of the job market for a while. Many of them have been in a job for a while. The business of looking for a job has changed."

Hundreds of seniors flock to soggy job fair in Tampa 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 3:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  2. Ford's Garage opens new Westchase spot

    Business

    Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week.

    hillsevbiz081817: Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week. Photo courtesy of Ford's Garage
  3. Carls Patio celebrates great outdoor furnishings in Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — While many northerners are shoveling snow, Floridians are lounging poolside in the middle of winter.

    hillsevbiz081817: After selling outdoor and patio furniture in locations in South Florida since 1993, Carls Patio has opened its first store to open in the Tampa Bay area and there are plans for more. Photo courtesy of Carls Patio.
  4. Massage therapist opens South Tampa office

    Business

    As a social worker in the early '90s, a majority of Tracy Jones' cases were people dealing with depression.

    Tracy Jones recently opened Tampa Bay Sports and Medical Massage in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Tracy Jones.
  5. Stadium area Chick-fil-A location will open Aug. 31

    Business

    While active in the Air Force, New York City native, Carlos Brito often traveled to Tampa for work.

    Chick-fil-A Tampa Stadium celebrates its' grand opening on Aug. 31. Photo courtesy of Carlos Brito.