SouthCoast Job Fair draws more than 1,000 to Seaport in Fairhaven

By Mike Lawrence
March 31. 2016 8:02PM
FAIRHAVEN — Tammy Garnett, human resources director for Edaville USA, said a job candidate’s first few minutes at her table Thursday could reflect their potential customer service skills at the Carver amusement park this summer.
“You can learn a lot about someone in that short bit, and how they might react to a guest walking up in the park,” Garnett said during the SouthCoast Job Fair, held at the Seaport Inn and Marina in Fairhaven.
“Communication is huge for us, and the ability to spark a conversation,” she added.
Conversations were flying fast in the mirror-ceilinged Seaport meeting room, where about 90 businesses spoke with SouthCoast jobseekers. Ian Abreu, manager of workforce and business development at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, said more than 1,000 people attended the bustling, five-hour event.
“The acoustics can be a little tough,” Trudy Wallach joked, referring to the room’s noise level. Wallach is a senior human resources consultant for Teufelberger, a Fall River fiber rope manufacturer.
Noise aside, Wallach said Thursday’s event was the best of several recent job fairs the company had attended, because of both the amount and quality of candidates.
“We’ve got a stack of applications,” Wallach said, rifling through a pile of more than 50 resumes.
One job-seeker at the fair was Fairhaven resident Lauren Messier, 30.
“I feel like it was a decent variety — a lot of medical,” Messier said of the pool of employers.
Messier has a marketing degree and was looking for an administrative position, but was selective, saying she only handed out about “six to 10” resumes.
“You’re looking for the right fit,” she said.
New Bedford resident Ryan Arruda, 29, also said he was looking for administrative or management positions, after six years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Arruda said he was selective about approaching employers, as well.
“The first thing I look for is something I have experience in,” he said. “The next thing I look for is something I believe in.”
Garnett said she and a colleague spoke with more than 100 job candidates about a wide range of jobs at the Carver park. The company will host its own job fairs, or “casting calls,” in April. The casting calls will involve group interviews and team-building exercises, Garnett said, for candidates 16 and older. More information is online at
Thursday’s event followed up on last April’s SouthCoast Job Fair, held at UMass Dartmouth’s Tripp Athletic Center. That fair, Abreu said last spring, led to nearly 400 full-time jobs, nearly 400 internships and more than 200 part-time or seasonal jobs in the region.
This year’s event was hosted by the Chamber, the Greater New Bedford Career Center, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board and Bristol Community College.
Follow Mike Lawrence on Twitter @MikeLawrenceSCT
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