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First Southwest Florida Virtual Job Fair connects people to real solutions

Job fair attracts people looking to rebound
Posted at 7:09 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 07:09:51-04

FORT MYERS, Fla — When you go to a virtual job fair, there are no nervous handshakes or awkward introductions. You just log on, look into our phone or computer's camera, and hope you stand out.

That's what happened at the first Southwest Florida Virtual Job Fair, Thursday.

"I thought it was really a blessing. I thought they did a great job," Sean Skove says.

Skove could use a blessing right now. He worked for an aviation programming company and when the airline industry pretty much shut down in March, he lost his job.

"From there I went to Uber and Instacart, trying to make some money and keep my means up," he says. "Shortly after I ended up getting infected by Covid 19."

"I've definitely had some dark days, especially with finances and things like that. I haven't had any solid work for almost two months now."

More than 700 people signed up for the virtual job fair, many of them struggling in their own way. The organization, Better Together, set it up. They work to keep families together, by making sure the adults have dependable jobs.

Nearly two dozen employers were at the job fair, and they were hiring everything from health care jobs to H-VAC sales, to retail.

Here's how it worked. Hiring managers made presentations, they described job details and answered questions. In some cases they did interviews.

Some companies planned to hire on the spot. Gamestop wants new workers as soon as possible.

"The end result is that we're hiring right away," Michelle Latorella, with Gamestop says. "And we're trying to get ready for our reopening and make sure we're ready to give that level four service to every guest."

Skove says he's beginning to feel better from the virus. He says his breathing is improving and his energy is coming back. Plus, he says he got five or six leads for financial and medical jobs at the job fair.

"I'm already moving forward on the interviewing process for one of them, so it's been fast," he says. "It's really helped boost my confidence, today."

For Better Together the bottom line is hope. They want people to realize help is out there, not just today, but going forward. As long as it takes to rebound from this.

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