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Pittsfield Career Fair Sees Increase In Employers

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
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Even at lunch time, prospective employees meandered through 54 different employers booths.

The career fair had a "different feel" this year with a wide range of opportunities.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce's annual career fair saw an increase in both employers and prospective employees on Thursday bringing the event back to what it used to be.

"It's really encouraging to see this many employers," Christine Hoyt, director of programs and events for the chamber, said in the midst of the fair at Berkshire Hills Country Club. "There are 54 employers, which is an increase of 12 from last year."

In recent years, the chamber has had an average of 40 to 45 employers whereas five years ago more than 50 would attend, Hoyt said.

She added that the number and types of jobs seemed to have changed as well. While there was no official count of the number of jobs, Hoyt said that there are a wide range of the type of jobs available in the county now.

"It does feel dramatically different," Hoyt said. "It's good to see career opportunities."

The jobs ranged from seasonal to full-time professional positions.

Despite the county's unemployment rate decreasing in recent months from 8.1 percent in January to 6.7 percent in March, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, hundreds of job seekers attended the fair - many showing up early.

"We had 110 job seekers come through in the first hour... that's a high number," Hoyt said.

Employers said they had seen more "young professionals" looking for a different job than in previous years when the majority of the attendees were unemployed altogether.
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