WESTMINSTER — To be a college student looking for a job is to be worried.
But eight county employers at a job fair yesterday at Carroll Community College had words of encouragement -- and even a few jobs for students.
Gary D. Compher, personnel administrator at Springfield Hospital Center, said the 540-bed hospital in Sykesville is hiring nurses aides, dietary employees and groundskeepers.
Karen Grimes, 30, of Sykesville, hopes to be one of the nurses aides hired.
She studies microbiology at the college and works as a nursing assistant at a nursing home in Sykesville. A job at the hospital would be more challengingand offer better benefits, she said.
Compher gave Grimes an application for the position and the name of the person to talk to for an interview.
"We want to get people headed in the right direction," he said.
The state always is looking for good employees, Compher said.
So is the U.S. Army -- even when the government is laying off25 percent of Army personnel.
Sgt. 1st Class Roy A. Kauer III, a local Army Reserve recruiter, passed out pamphlets to anyone willing to listen to his pitch.
"We're recruiting because we're constantlyin the training mode; people are constantly flowing through" the system, he said.
Doug Knox, an 18-year-old from Taneytown who works part time at a restaurant while taking classes at the community college, told Kauer he's interested in a career in physical therapy.
Knox said he came to the job fair because he's looking for a new part-time job.
Dan Diffenderfer, a manager at Montgomery Ward & Co. in Cranberry Mall, was recruiting students for part-time jobs that might turn into full-time work.
"What would be great would be to have five or six college students in the store to look to when we have entry-level management openings," he said.
He also was giving away credit card applications.
Susan Ealing, a personnel analyst for CarrollCounty government, was up front with students about the county's limited ability to hire new employees because of budget restraints.
"I'll be very truthful with you," she told a woman. "We have 75 to 100applications for every opening. It's very competitive right now."
Ealing said the county came to the job fair to tell people that government work is diverse and should be considered as a "career."
Tricia Kolar, 39, of New Windsor, whose husband attends the college, said, "I'm encouraged they have a job fair in these economic times."
Other employers with booths at the first-time fair were the Board of Education, Carroll Haven, Fairhaven and Jafra Cosmetics.
Kristine DeWitt, career and life planning counselor at the college, said more employers have been calling her lately with full- and part-time job openings.
She has hung notices for retail sales, waitress and clerical jobs on a board in the college's Career Center.
"The job boardis pretty well filled up. I hope that means something," DeWitt said.
But it's still not the most ideal time to be job hunting.
"It's a hard time. There aren't any easy answers," she said.
The Career Center offers job search workshops that are free to students and $10 for others, DeWitt said. Workshops on finding a federal job and choosing a study and career path are scheduled on April 21. Interviewingis the topic for the April 24 workshop.
The college -- where 2,451 students are enrolled this semester -- plans to make the spring jobfair an annual event, DeWitt said.