County Department of Labor holds its ‘first’ East End job fair

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Applicants fill out paperwork at the job fair held at the County Center in Riverhead Tuesday.

The Suffolk County Department of Labor held a job fair at the County Center in Riverhead Tuesday, an event county officials were calling the first of its kind on the East End outside of fairs held at public libraries.

The fair was to fill eight positions at Adchem, an adhesive company located on Route 58 in Riverhead.

The Department of Labor’s director of business services Kirk Cronk said he believes job fairs in Eastern Suffolk will become more common as manufacturers move into areas east of Hauppauge.

The county department of labor holds about 20 job fairs a year, though Mr. Cronk said companies that participate aren’t always hiring. Though only about 10 interviewees showed up in the first couple hours of the Adchem job fair, he said the event was more likely to lead to a hiring than most fairs the Department of Labor hosts.

“The advantage to the people is that, beside putting in an application, which many places do online anyway, is that when they come down here, they’re getting an interview,” he said. “The advantage to the company is that I’m reaching out to a database of more than 6,000 people via email, plus I get the word out through community organizations and public officials that a company is hiring and looking for certain positions.”

Riverhead resident Brandon Spellman, who attended the event, said future job fairs with multiple hiring companies would be ideal for his job search, as would more events on the East End.

Mr. Spellman has been in the job market for two months and he interviewed for an open web developer position with Adchem, where he previously worked five years ago.

“All the job fairs are on Veterans Highway and a lot of people can’t get up there,” Mr. Spellman said. “When they see that, they’re discouraged to go for the interview, because if you can’t get to the job fair, then how will you be able to get to work?”

Mr. Spellman wasn’t the only Riverhead resident and former Adchem employee to attend the event.

Alvin Cross, who worked for Adchem in 1995, said finding employment remains difficult in the current economic climate.

“I’ve been looking for a job for approximately seven months and it’s tough,” Mr. Cross said. “I’ll keep looking, but I’m a tattoo artist on the side, so I try to catch a call here and there.”

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