Hartsfield-Jackson’s first fall job fair draws big crowd, high praise

Filed in Events, Jobs, News by on October 21, 2016

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) hosted its first fall job fair Oct. 19, drawing thousands of career hopefuls looking to land a position at the world’s busiest airport – or with its partners and stakeholders.

Officially, 3,083 participants packed the Georgia International Convention Center to make a pitch for one of 1,691 open positions. More than 60 Airport community employers were on hand, and they hired at least 89 individuals on the spot.

Arieona Housworth of Atlanta was among them.

“The interview went really smooth,” said Housworth, who noted she wasn’t surprised she received an immediate job offer from MEM Concessions.

“I claimed it,” she said.

Others claimed it too, including Laurel Williams of Atlanta. The Starbucks barista scored a position with Hojeij Branded Foods.

“I was happy because this is the first table I went to,” she said. “The Airport is a busy place, and I know I can get more hours than what I can get right now, especially during the holiday season.”

Each time employers made a hire, a loud whistle reverberated throughout the hall.

For William Satisfield, the whistle became an all too familiar sound. That’s because the 30-year-old Hapeville resident hit the job jackpot, receiving offers for a management position from Hojeij Branded Foods, Willy’s Mexicana Grill and HMSHost in less than three hours.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m going to go home, have a drink and think about which one to accept.”

Each year, the Airport Community Job Fair “gets better and better,” said chief organizer Chermaine Axam, ATL’s assistant manager for community affairs.

“Every job fair builds upon the success of previous ones,” she said. “We continue to add features to better satisfy the needs of Airport community employers and, of course, job seekers. This year, we added laptop computer stations and a mobile career coach. It was amazing to watch the excitement in the room.”

Historically, the world’s busiest airport has conducted job fairs in the spring. But the upward growth of the economy, coupled with ATL’s huge influx of passengers and the launch of its $6 billion capital improvement program ATLNext, prompted organizers to add a fall event.

Unlike its spring counterpart, the fall fair included a wider variety of positions, from cashiers and cooks to administrators and accountants. Those interested in project manager and engineering jobs found a number of options as well, particularly as ATLNext moves forward.

Interim Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council Jr. strolled through the job fair just after 10 a.m. He met with employers and job seekers, and he underscored the event’s importance in ATL’s ongoing focus on the community.

“Beyond being a major transportation hub, Hartsfield-Jackson serves the community by hosting events such as the job fair,” he said. “We’re helping connect employers with potential employees and, in the process, tapping into a tremendous pool of talent across our region.”

Many had high praise for ATL’s inaugural fall fair.

“I love this job fair,” said Demetria Bacote of Hartsville, S.C. She obtained on-the-spot employment with MEM Concessions. “It was a breeze and very welcoming.”

From top, thousands of job seekers packed the Georgia International Convention Center for ATL’s first fall job fair. The free event featured more than 60 employers. Interim Airport General Manager Roosevelt Council Jr. walked through the fair just after 10 a.m., meeting employers and prospective employees. New this year was WorkSource Atlanta Career Coach, a state-of-the-art mobile unit that helped job seekers find sustainable employment. Below left, William Satisfield landed three offers in less than three hours at the fair. “I’m very excited,” he said. Photos by Decisive Moment Photojournalism

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