Englewood resident Kenneth Williams, (r) checks out a booth at Jobs on the Block. Credit: Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Bock Club Chicago

ENGLEWOOD — Job seekers and employers turned out for the biggest Jobs on the Block event yet, with over 400 people attending the annual Englewood job fair.

Representatives from companies like Amazon, Starbucks and FedEx were on hand to take resumes and interview potential candidates on the spot. Even as the fair wound down, people showed up, resumes in hand.

Cherice Price, one of the event co-organizers, considered the day a success.

“We had 32 employers and 20 additional employment resources, and this was the first time we’ve done that because we want to connect jobs seekers with other organizations to assist them with obtaining employment in the future,” said Price, a member of R.A.G.E. Englewood.

Over 400 people attended the job fair Wednesday, with job seekers still arriving as the event wound down. Credit: Jamie Nesbitt Golden/ Block Club Chicago

Price and co-organizer Aysha Butler opened R.A.G.E. offices to help people with their resumes, with some requiring assistance with writing a resume from scratch. Price enlisted one of the resource organizations to help.

Will Arkette, a representative from home care service organization Help at Home, said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

“I got a few prospects,” said Arkette, a newcomer to the job fair. “I’d say about 40 to 50 people stopped by my tent today. I think it was a success.”

Virgie Holiday found out about the job fair from a Facebook post. Decked out in a black and white pantsuit and a Chanel purse, she came in hopes of finding a customer service position or a supervisory job that wouldn’t require strenuous activity.

“I’ve been in the workforce since I was 17. I’m 59 now,” said Holiday, who spent years working in manufacturing. “It takes wear and tear on your body, so I’m out here trying to find something else.”

Englewood resident Kenneth Williams heard about the fair from a fellow passenger on his bus who was on her way there. With his niece in tow, he headed towards the Reconstruction Technology Enterprises tent — a new social enterprise from the Safer Foundation — to help those with criminal records reenter the workforce.

“I do carpentry work. Flooring, drywalling, pipes, electricity. I went to see just one person because I know what I can do. I know what I’m capable of accomplishing,” said Williams. “I feel like I got something out of this.”

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