Job-seekers pack Hammond career fair

2013-04-25T14:27:00Z 2013-04-25T17:21:14Z Job-seekers pack Hammond career fairRob Earnshaw Times Correspondent
April 25, 2013 2:27 pm  • 

HAMMOND | The Jean Shepherd Community Center was packed Thursday with employers and job-seekers hoping to make a connection during Hammond’s 10th annual job fair hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

Looking to make new hires were more than 60 companies representing government, finance, gaming, healthcare, sales, manufacturing and apprenticeship trades.

Anne Anderson, marketing coordinator for the office of economic development, said there was a significant amount of more companies attending this year’s job fair.

“They’re coming with open jobs, so hopefully today we’ll make some good connections for the people of the region,” she said.

Those companies included Hammond-based Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad, which was looking for electricians, track laborers and trainmen.

Majestic Star Casino had open positions for bartender, beverage server, cage cashier, casino services representative, count attendant and casino host.

“We promote from within and it’s a teamwork environment,” said Therese Bibbs, human resource manager. “Everybody works together.”

Indiana Botanic Gardens, in Hobart, was looking to hire inbound call center representatives. Call center Manager Randy Traywick said the more than 100-year-old company is family-owned and offers a great working environment with flexible scheduling.

Daniela Santoyo began working for the company as a college student 10 years ago and is now a customer service supervisor.

“I went there so I can finish school,” she said. “They were great working with students and working around my schedule. I’ve grown with the company.”

Job fair attendees included Kristi Peterson, of Whiting, who currently has two part-time jobs and is “seeing what else is out there.”

Peterson eventually would like to use her music education background and find a job in the arts. She currently works for a company in which she dresses as Disney characters for parties and she is also providing after-school music education.

Cynthia Lewis, of Hammond, is enrolled in Ivy Tech Community College’s nursing program. She was at the fair looking to explore her option while she’s in school.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s part time or full time, as long as it doesn’t conflict with school,” she said.

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