Recruiters looked to fill hundreds of positions, with many starting at more than $15 an hour.
CHICAGO (WLS) — After months of going without steady employment, Andrea Howard finally has a job.
"I was working for a company, but it was an on-call company and I need something permanent, so I came here and look at God," Howard said.
The 34-year-old interviewed on-site and was hired on the spot for a full-time cashier's position with Midway Concessions.
"Since the pandemic, a lot of people did not return to work and it's been very difficult to fill those slots," said Annyce Wilson, an SSP America recruiter.
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The South Sider is one of dozens of job seekers who found quality work at the Skills for Chicagoland's Future job fair.
The organization hosted the event at its Englewood office on the city's South Side, hoping to create what they call an "equitable impact."
"Seventy percent of our candidates usually come from the South Side that our clients hire, so we wanted to make it as convenient for them as possible," said Tabatha Cobb, VP at Skills for Chicagoland's Future.
The latest preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows in 2021 the overall unemployment rate for African Americans was 12.3%, compared to 6.9% for Hispanics or Latinos, and 5.1% for whites.
Recruiters representing organizations like the University of Chicago and companies, like Divvy and JP Morgan Chase Bank, looked to fill hundreds of positions, with many starting at more than $15 an hour.
"Associate banker role is the role that we are looking to fill today," said Aneesah Richardson, a Chase Bank branch manager.
That's great news for 29-year-old Muhammad Jackson.
"It actually puts me on a path to a real career, an actual stable career," Jackson said.
The organization is planning eight more job fairs, some on the West Side and some on the South Side, all in an effort to make sure they can get people jobs in their community.
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