Monday, April 20, 2009

Putting Orlando Back To Work

(photos by Adam Wiggall)

(This guest post written by Partick O' Brien, General Sales Manager, Orlando Employment Guide. This article is also available in the April 20th Edition of the Orlando Employment Guide paper, available at Publix, the hundreds of Green Boxes across Central Florida and other participating vendors. If you would like to write a guest post, please send your ideas to

The Orlando Employment Guide office has been a little crazy over the last few weeks. After spending months out in the community talking with business owners and job seekers it became apparent that the traditional ways of helping people find jobs was not effective. I learned that job fairs were not being seen as a way to help people find jobs, but as a way to solicit those individuals.

We set out to do something different last week. It was time to actually help people find work and to give them additional resources that would allow them to accomplish this goal. We now have a mission to “Put America Back To Work” and more specifically put 10,000 people back to work by the end of the year.

We reached out to Governor Charlie Crist and found that he shared the same vision for Florida and he reached out to offer hope to job seekers at last week’s event. I was lucky enough to be able to introduce him. After listening to him address the crowd of jobseekers & witnessing his approachability on Thursday, I stand by my remarks that “with Gov. Crist’s dynamic leadership, Florida will lead America back to work”.

Knowing that job seekers were tired of the same companies who weren’t really hiring at these events, we reached out to new companies and made it mandatory that they have open positions to be filled in order to attend. While there were some schools in attendance, we limited the number of schools that could participate in the event. Immediately after the job fair we received word back from about half the companies on their success at the job fair. Other companies were conducting background checks, reference checks, etc. before they could indicate their success at the event. Out of these reporting companies they had approximately 640 openings and they expected to hire 534 people, going through additional resumes from the event for the remaining positions.

I expect once we receive follow up from the remaining companies that we should have been able to put around 1,000 people back to work at this one event! To me, this is part of the change that is making a difference in our community. That is a thousand less people needing unemployment, a thousand less people emptying out their savings accounts and a thousand less people worrying about staying in their homes.

I was also please to see so many people actively participating in the recruitment seminars we offered. These sessions provided a unique opportunity to learn different strategies to assist in your job hunt. We received a lot of great feedback from both job seekers and recruiters on the information that was offered.

I would like to thank Mark Krupinski of Rasmussen College, Keli Kareem of Bank of America, Brian Govini of Govini Properties & Investments and our own Greg Rollett, for offering their insight into the current job search process.

At the conclusion of the event, I found people re-energized and optimistic about what the future holds for Central Florida. It is this hope and optimism that will revitalize Central Florida and allow Florida to lead America Back To Work. Thanks again to every job seeker, employer and media representative that helped make our goal a reality, and congratulations to all those who found a rewarding career at the event!

Patrick O’Brien
General Sales Manager
Orlando Employment Guide

For comments on the job fair and Orlando employment questions or concerns, please send an email to


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