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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Some call job fair ‘a waste of time’

Job fair applicantsHundreds braved the wind and cold today to attend the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center’s job fair.

Applicants arrived early and waited up to two hours to get inside the Virginia Employment Commission’s Reemploy Virginia office in Spotsylvania County, pictured, where the event was held. The line of hopefuls wrapped around the office building all morning.

Some prospects said they were disappointed in the way the event was organized.

“I think it was a waste of time,” said Bradley Heater of Fredericksburg, after waiting in line more than an hour. Heater has worked as a cook at McDonald’s and AMF Fredericksburg Lanes on State Route 3. He is hoping to become a cook at the hospital.

“It’s bad setup,” added Gary Tyson of Fredericksburg. Tyson is retired from Giant Food and has been operating his own drywall business. He was applying for a maintenance job.

Applicants said they waited in line to get inside the building, then were asked to register with the Virginia Employment Commission. They said they dropped off their resumes and were told to go home and fill out an online application at the hospital’s Web site.

“This is not a job fair,” said Kristine Sease of Stafford. “This is a cattle call to make sure you’re registered with job seeking services with the VEC. I’m really frustrated.”

Others found the experience worthwhile. Evelyn Stockwell said she applied for a clerical job. “They were very, very nice,” she said. “The hardest part was standing out in the cold.”

The hospital will open in May and has started talking to prospects about both clinical and nonclinical work. It expects to hire about 400 people. Officials of the hospital and the employment commission could not be reached for comment this afternoon. 


  • SimplyAmazed

    I arrived. Saw no where to park. People lined up double and triple breasted almost as far as the strip mall reached. People also waiting in parking lot of Fredericksburg Academy. There were hundreds of people. Absolutely no way HCA will be reviewing the hundreds of resumes received. I left and pursued what is likely to prove more effective in finding employment. I agree with those who say this was a waste. Sorry, but appeared to me to be just another gov. agency not knowing what it was doing. No one needs this sort of disappointment. I also believe registering with the VEC was just a means to get a number of unemployed. What do those in power not understand about 20 million unemployed nationwide ? That figure excludes those who have never drawn unemployment wages.

  • vag20t

    Went there, people strung out around the
    building..Then went to the VEC and that place was
    packed….They could have saved us the time and
    just had us email our resume’s. I agree I think the
    VEC was just trying to gauge how many here are

  • malbrycht

    Arrived at 10:45, waited in line until 1:45 to be told sorry we need to shut this down. Just leave your resume. I’m sorry but there were many people who could have been valuable employees sent away. This was another example of why we should never turn healthcare over to the government! If they can’t run a job fair, how could they ever run our healthcare! Extreme Poor planning.

  • homercles82

    Has been like this. You visit, see prospective employers (maybe), fill out a few forms then are asked to send in your resume.

    Really what do people expect? To get hired on the spot?

  • leefva5

    People really. Just do what they tell you…do it right….sell yourselves….and you’ll have just as good a chance as the next person. Who are you all to whine because they told you to apply online and register for a service that might actually help you? Nothing is free or easy in life. Just sell yourselves and keep a positive attitude! And PLEASE try and dress a little nicer than the people in the picture for your next job fair!

  • aidia

    Maybe if our government would tax the heck out of companies that outsource all of their jobs to India, then they would bring them back home because it would be more feasable and we’d have more jobs to go around. Is that really that hard of a concept to figure out?

  • oceangurl

    No one “expects” to be hired on the spot. The ONLY thing that VEC was interested in today was the repeated inquiry of asking “are you registered for for Job Seeker Services.” Incidentally, this office on Carr Drive is being operated with Federal Stimulus funds to re-employ people.

    If you weren’t there, then you really can’t comment on what truly went on. There were more than 800 (rough guesstimate) people there today. The VEC folks were also only telling people after the horrendous wait, “go to the website and apply on-line. Many people wasted precious gas driving down there and waiting in line for 2+ hours.

    Yes, job fairs require waiting, and no you are not hired on the spot. However, you generally get to at least speak briefly with a company representative and give them your resume, not be told to “go to the website and apply on-line.”

  • oceangurl

    People were not “complaining and whining” to use your words.
    If you saw the HUNDREDS of people that were there today in the line and were part of the process, then you might be in a better position to comment.
    Being registered for Job Seeker Services is REQUIRED, so the continued asking of this question was redundant on the part of the VEC employees. In so far as the process, it was NOT a “job fair”, it was a tabulation of the number of potential employees for administrative/clerical, housekeeping and food service positions along with a calculation of actual unemployment rates. This office is also funded with Federal Stimulus Funds.

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