2,000 flock to job fair in search of brighter tomorrow

December 30, 1992|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Staff Writer

Kara Catlin packed 40 resumes, put on a bright blue suit and went looking for work yesterday at a job fair at Towson State University.

Ms. Catlin, 22, was laid off a month ago and she came away from the job fair with no strong job leads. Even so, she's optimistic.

"I think it will be better after the first of the year," said Ms. Catlin, who lives in Columbia. "I think things will open open up a little."

The state's unemployment rate, while still high at 6.4 percent as of October, is dropping and surveys show that confidence in the economy is growing.

That didn't make it any easier for the 2,000 people who had come to yesterday's job fair to wow prospective employers, of which approximately 80 were represented.

"I hope the economy is picking up. It can't get much worse," said Trudy Joyce, a 32-year-old marketing employee from Philadelphia who is moving to Baltimore to get married next year.

For a job-seeker, it can be daunting to see so many other people hunting for jobs at the same time.

"I am surprised at the turnout," said Dennis Yabo, a 35-year-old chemical engineer from Prince George's County who lost his job six months ago. "I thought I would walk in, be interviewed and just walk out."

Most tried to stay upbeat.

"I feel I can present myself in such a way that if there's a need to be filled in a company, I can fill it," said Brian Morris, a new graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park.

Mr. Morris, who took an earring out of his left ear before the job fair, said an insurance company had offered him a sales job starting Monday. A handful of other companies were interested enough to offer him interviews later.

"I guess I'm pretty confident," Mr. Morris, 21, said.

L The lines of applicants were long at major Baltimore corpora

tions such as Black and Decker and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Maryland. McDonald's and Rite Aid were less popular.

Kenneth Bailey, who left the Navy last week after seven years of service, says he isn't too picky.

He has a biology degree and wants to go into environmental protection or industrial hygiene. But he planned to visit all sorts of corporations.

"It may not be exactly what I want," Mr. Bailey, 30, said. "But I feel as though there is a job out there."

Likewise, Ms. Catlin won't be too selective. She remembers the tough job market when she graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County last summer.

PD "It's rough out there," she said. "I learned that back in June."

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