Regardless of whether they are students, displaced workers or both, many of the individuals at the career fair sponsored by the Youngstown Campus of National College on Tuesday expressed one common goal: They are all hoping to find a job.
"That's why I'm here," explained Kimbirle Krok, of Cortland. "I worked at a factory job for 14 years before the company shut down. With three kids I need something stable, a job that can help me take care of them. I'm looking at all of my options."
Krok, who is studying to be a medical assistant at National College, located on Belmont Avenue in Liberty, is scheduled to graduate in 2011. She joined more than a dozen other Youngstown National College students who found their way to the career fair Tuesday.
The event featured 13 vendors either looking to hire people or provide information about educational opportunities. Representatives from the Nicholson Center of Warren, Office Team of Boardman, Verizon Wireless, Comfort Keepers and Sam's Club were among the vendors.
Although National College students were encouraged to attend the fair, it was also open to the public. There was no cost for job seekers or prospective employers to participate.
Michele Simmons, who recently moved to the Youngstown area from Georgia, said she heard about the job fair from a relative and took the opportunity to make some contacts and explore employment opportunities.
"I'm hoping to get started with a job as soon as possible," she explained. "I'm hoping to work in an office, doing clerical work or something like that. I just thought I'd check it out and try to get some idea of what's out there. It can't hurt."
Jamie Jackson, the college's career center director, said the institution conducts several career and job fairs a year.
"This is one of our smaller ones, but we try to bring the employers to the students and to community members often," she said. "We're here to provide educational opportunities along with information about jobs that are out there."
National College also has locations in Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee. The institution offers associate's degrees and diploma programs in business, computer, and medical fields.