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Seek and Employ

Brockton - Networking is key when searching for a job, which makes career fairs a great starting point. Hundreds of job seekers met with local business owners yesterday at a career fair at The Conference Center at Massasoit in Brockton.

The event, hosted by CareerWorks of Brockton, Plymouth and Quincy, along with South of Boston Media Group, The Patriot Ledger, The Enterprise and MPG Newspapers, attracted job seekers off all skill levels and experience.

Nearly 40 companies attended the fair to advertise and attract prospective employees. The event offered a wide selection of businesses including Curry and Quincy Colleges, South Shore Savings Bank, Verizon Communications, the U.S. Naval Reserve, Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center and Cardinal Cushing Centers.

Don Aquiar of Brockton was very impressed with the turnout of both companies and job seekers.

"Five to six years ago it wasn't this good," he said. "Companies weren't interested in the employees ... they were talking booth to booth. Now, I see a better cross-section of businesses."

Aquiar, 51, has a full-time job, but he attended the job fair in hopes of finding something different.

"The job I have now has no growth potential," he said. "I don't want to count the days until retirement. "I'm always watching the classifieds and making phone calls. You get a call back (from a company) maybe one out of every 10 ads," Aquiar said.

Verizon Communications attended the career fair in order to fill more than 100 telephone operator positions for its 411 operations in Braintree. Carnell Jones, a Verizon recruiting specialist, says the company uses a lengthy interview process and two-week training program in order to find the right employee.

"For an entry level position there are no set requirements, but we do give a basic abilities written exam. We do perform drug screening and background investigations," Jones said.

For people like graphic designer Thad Parmenter, the going has been rough. "As a graphic designer, just going around trying to find work is hard," he said. "It's been frustrating since the day I got out of college." Even though he has been unemployed since January, Parmenter has not given up hope. He visits job-search web sites such as monster.com and careerbuilder.com.

"Those web sites haven't really worked at all for me," he said. Judy Dovev has several ideas on how to get back to work. One includes starting her own business. "When I was between temp jobs, I began writing a program for customer service techniques," the Sharon resident said. "I'm a firm believer that the money will come once you're doing something you enjoy."

Dovev, a mother of three, is not too concerned about finding work just yet. A career coach from a career center in Norwood is helping her establish a routine. "I really haven't had many job interviews yet, but I'll find my way and I'll find my path," she said. Lauren Bobrowich may be reached at lbobrowich@ledger.com.

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