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Many looking for better jobs at chamber's first in-person job fair since COVID-19
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Job seekers gather Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, at the Gainesville Civic Center for the The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce job fair and career expo. This is the first in-person job fair the chamber has held since the COVID-19 pandemic, but it isn’t its first in-person event. - photo by Scott Rogers

Around 600 mask-wearing job seekers and 48 prospective employers filled the Gainesville Civic Center Tuesday, Sept. 15, for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s fall job fair.  

Tim Evans, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, said within “the first two or three minutes, we had 150 people walk through the door.” 

“We’re excited to be able to do this,” Evans said. “It’s one of the most important events we do in the year.” 

Many attendees told The Times they were lucky enough to stay employed during the pandemic and were simply looking for a new opportunity. 

“We’re like super busy and rarely getting days off,” Cristian Ramos of Gainesville said of his company in Jefferson. “I just want something local and where I can get days off. And I don’t want to be too busy that I don’t' spend time with my (2-year-old child).” 

The event was the chamber’s first in-person job fair since last year. The chamber had one scheduled in the spring, but it had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Job seekers had their temperature checked at the civic center entrance and were urged to wear masks before entering the ballroom and other rooms where the event was taking place. Hand sanitizing stations were at locations throughout the job fair, and attendees could speak up close with employers at spaced-out booths.