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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

A Popular Englewood Job Fair Is Back — And This Time It’s Virtual. Here’s How To Sign Up

The fair, which usually draws hundreds of job seekers, will be held Thursday afternoon via Zoom.

Employers greet an applicant at a 100,000 Opportunities Initiative job fair in Englewood in 2017.
Chicago Event Photography
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ENGLEWOOD — There’s still time to register for the Englewood Job and Resource Fair this week, and this year you can participate from the safety of your home.

Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic have forced event organizers to take the annual event online.

Roger Engelmann, executive director of Bright Community Services, one of the fair’s co-sponsors, said a volunteer floated the idea of bringing the event online. It’ll be held noon-3:30 p.m. Thursday, with candidates able to meet with employers via the Zoom video conference platform.

“The event came out of a discussion that a number of us were having, lamenting that we weren’t able to have an in-person job fair this April, and also realizing that it may be a very long time before we can have 250 or more people in a space for a physical job fair,” Engelmann said. 

The fair has been set up so employers will go to applicants for one-on-ones or group interviews, Engelmann said.

Here’s how job seekers can participate:

  • Register for the event by emailing, ideally by 8 p.m. Wednesday. (Registration still will be open until the time of the event.) Include your name, phone number, ZIP code and a sentence or two indicating which employer or resource interests you. You will receive a link to the Zoom meeting room and the time of your 90-minute scheduled session in your inbox shortly thereafter.
  • Apply to the company of your choice online before Thursday so that employers will already have your information on hand.
  • Download the Zoom app to your mobile phone or computer prior to the event. For those new to Zoom, the first 25 minutes of the session is set aside for a crash course on using the platform and reviewing interviewing techniques.
  • Make sure your phone or computer is fully charged.

Though the job fair is virtual, dressing for the occasion is still a must. A nice shirt and tie — or blouse — is a good look, Engelmann said.

Since 2018, the fair has drawn hundreds of participants. Its success led to organizers hosting two events last year. Registration for this year’s fair is at 70 people so far, but Engelmann is optimistic that number will climb.

“When unemployment rates go up, areas like West Englewood are hit hardest,” Engelmann said. “So we’re really excited that so many companies are ready to hire people, and we want to do what we can do make it happen.”

Participating organizations:

  • Alternative Staffing
  • Aramark
  • Chicago Pit Stop BBQ
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Elite Staffing
  • Help at Home
  • Kingdom Chevrolet
  • O’Neal’s Transportation
  • Schulze and Burch Biscuit Company
  • SecurAmerica
  • United Protection Agency
  • UPS
  • Worldwide Flight Services

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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