By Eugene Scott
More than 1,000 job seekers filled the Kranitz Student Center at Paradise Valley Community College on Wednesday to meet with more than 100 Valley employers. Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., hosted the fair, which had the potential to fill 6,000 jobs.
"Phoenix has a high rate of unemployment and underemployment, so I would like to continue to host job fairs and be able to tweak them to make them better next time," he said. Arizona's unemployment rate in June was 9.3 percent.
PHOTOS: Rep. Ben Quayle hosts job fair
Here are some comments from participants:
Rep. Ben Quayle
The freshman congressman said the idea surfaced as a way to directly connect the unemployed and underemployed with Valley companies.
"We just started making calls," he said. "It was a lot easier than we expected. Valley businesses were very supportive of the idea."
Kristi Grassley, executive recruiter, Abrazo Health Care:
Filling the 500 openings at Abrazo's hospitals, including Paradise Valley Hospital and Arizona Heart Hospital, has not been easy. "We often have to recruit from outside the Valley for qualified people who have experience in special niches," she said.
Miesha Berry, Laveen resident :
Berry, who has an information- technology degree from the University of Phoenix, attended the job fair. She has been looking for work since 2008. "I'm optimistic about today. It feels like something might come out of this. A couple of people actually took my resume," she said.
Paul Dale, PVCC president:
Several local colleges were at the job fair to encourage job seekers to pursue more education, Dale said. "The (PVCC) CareerServices Office helps students and community members explore their career options and develop a plan for success in their search for employment," he said.