Seniors visit Grand Strand Job Fair in smaller numbers this year

03/18/2013 1:51 PM

03/19/2013 7:41 AM

Turnout was lower than usual at this year’s Grand Strand Senior Job and Volunteer Assistance Fair, said Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea. It is the event’s 10th year.

About 50 businesses and organizations were on hand Monday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to speak with any senior citizens who wanted to find a job or a place to volunteer.

Myrtle Beach resident Nancy Diggs, 50, said she’s visited a few job fairs recently because she likes that all of the businesses looking to hire people are in one place.

“This is a really good job fair,” she said. “I got some great leads [on jobs] and some great information about being a volunteer, because I’d like to volunteer, too.”

Wilbert Vereen, 50, also visited the fair looking for a permanent position. He said he worked at the convention center through a temporary staffing agency.

“I actually was the one who set all this up last night,” he said referring to the vendor tables in the convention hall. “I came back to check on some different jobs, permanent jobs.”

Kruea said of the 50 vendors at the fair, about two-thirds of them were offering volunteer opportunities while the remaining third was looking to hire people for paid positions.

“It needs to be the other way around,” Kruea said. “It’s a free event. I wish the business community would take advantage of it.”

Kruea said the fair began as a way to give retirees access to volunteer opportunities to help them stay active, but it turned out more people were looking for a way to bring in extra money.

“Many seniors either still want to work a little bit or need to work to make a little extra money,” he said.

Diggs said she appreciated the fact that the fair was geared toward those will to hire older employers.

“I’m half of 100,” she said. “We’re seniors and we need help finding the right jobs. We’re energized and we’re looking to use our energy, and definitely a little bit of extra income.”

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