CHICAGO (CBS) — Long lines form outside the former UIC Forum, now renamed the Dorin Forum.
People weren’t there for a concert or basketball game. They’re looking for something far more valuable.
Zarka Garrott was at the Chicago Urban League job fair Wednesday.
Some 6,700 people preregistered for the event.
Garrott went from table-to-table, where the 51-year-old veteran uses his smile and resume to try to land a job.
“Consturction, fork lift, possibly truck driver,” he said.
He meets Gail from SCR Medical Transportation.
“I drove trucks in the Army,” he said.
“Make sure you call this number to schedule your interview,” said Gail.
Despite the low 3.8 percent national unemployment rate, not everyone is benefiting.
And that’s where the Chicago Urban League comes in.
“The economy is terrific for some people, but we still have a high unemployment number for African Americans, and this is our way of offering them connections to those opportunities,” said the Urban League’s Andrew Wells.
An employment expert at the fair said job seekers have the advantage today.
“Across the spectrum, everyone is hiring right now,” said Jobcase CEO Fred Goff. “There are more openings in this country than people looking for them for the first time in modern history,” he said.
As for Garrott, he leaves the job fair on a high note.
“(It was a) very productive day, very fulfilling and I look forward to going to work.”
He has a couple job interviews lined up and we wish him the best of luck.
Employers in some industries did make job offers on the spot today.
Based on past years, nearly 1,000 people will ultimately get hired because of Wednesday’s event.