Forty employers will speak with job seekers age 50 and up at the 50+ Employment Expo on April 3 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel in Rockville.
The Jewish Council for the Aging has presented this job fair in Montgomery County for more than 10 years, said Micki Gordon, assistant CEO of the JCA. In May, JCA will present another 50-plus job fair in Northern Virginia with mostly the same employers, she noted. Worksource Montgomery is a co-sponsor of the Rockville fair.
In addition to employer contacts, the expo offers training in online applications, Web searches for jobs and writing resumes. Candidates will also find information on job-training services in the county and on career switching.
Of the 40 employers, six are in finance (insurance and banking), six in retail (store, door-to-door and at-home), and six in home health care. Categories with two employers each are publications, government (including the Montgomery County Board of Elections, looking for election judges), health care, recruiting agencies, transportation and social assistance nonprofits. Categories with a single employer include consulting, security, real estate, remodeling, market research, child care and a job readiness service.
Gordon said additional employers may sign up in the days before the expo.
José Sanchez, special events coordinator for Barwood Taxi, said the company will recruit drivers at the fair. “We don’t discriminate by age. Our technology is very user-friendly, and we have training,” Sanchez added. Seniors who have lived in the county a long time have the advantages of knowing some of the roads and being accustomed to local driving styles, he said.
Several drivers were recruited at last year’s fair, but they did not last long with the company, he noted. Some drivers “don’t like this kind of work,” and others may find different jobs, he said. “It’s the willingness of the person who wants to do the job,” Sanchez added.
The National Older Worker Career Center in Arlington will recruit for two federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said analyst Kevin McBean. Applicants must have two basic qualifications, being age 55 or older and the required skill sets for the jobs being filled by the agencies.
NOWCC Senior Director Kathleen Branch said the six positions the center is looking to fill at the fair, all at EPA locations in D.C. and Arlington are for a chemist, an assistant to the external affairs division, an information management assistant, an executive assistant, Federal Register document support and a scientific advisory panel support. Branch said applicants should go online to nowcc.org to apply for any of them.
The Coordinating Center, based in the Baltimore suburbs, will recruit health coaches at the expo, said Jennifer Przydzial, vice president for marketing. The coaches help people age 65 and older living in Montgomery or parts of Prince George’s County stay healthy and remain in their own homes, she explained, partly by aiding seniors to establish personal health goals and utilize community resources. The jobs are full- or part-time (20 hours per week) and require “some technology experience” and willingness to travel to patients’ homes, she added.
“A third of the workforce” at Social & Scientific Systems in Silver Spring “is over the age of 50,” said Molly Assion, human resources manager. The firm won one of three Experience Counts Best Practices Recognition Awards given at the 2015 50+ Employment Expo by County Executive Ike Leggett, she added. The consulting and research company works in epidemiology, public health, program evaluation and health policy for federal and commercial clients, she noted.
The firm has participated in this job fair for the past six years, although it has not hired anyone from the expo, Assion said. The company attends the job fair “to meet potential applicants, review resumes and provide constructive feedback,” she added, and also “to help our audience of job seekers learn more about who we are and what we do.”
Many of Social & Scientific Systems’ job openings require advanced degrees and 10 years of experience, Assion said. “If we’re looking for a candidate with a Ph.D. and 20 years of experience, there is clearly an age range that we expect the person to be in,” she noted. “Age is not a consideration – the candidate’s level of education and job experience are what matter.” She added, “This job fair serves the experience level we are targeting.”
The hotel is in walking distance of the White Flint Metro station. The job fair runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. News4 TV anchor Jim Handly will deliver a keynote talk on senior employment opportunities. More information is available at https://www.accessjca.org/2017-md-expo-flyer.