RUMFORD – Scott Newsome just last week moved to Rumford and is now looking for a job. Same with Leslie Sears. She’s been in town for a few weeks and she wants a job.

They were two of nearly 150 people who turned out Tuesday for the Rumford CareerCenter’s first job fair.

“It’s an excellent turnout,” said Darla Sanford, a counselor at the CareerCenter.

Counselors were expecting about 75 people, but by the end of the three-hour session that saw nearly 20 diverse potential employers on hand, nearly 150 job seekers had filed with the CareerCenter.

Many had picked up applications, or filed them with the company representatives right on site.

Newsome was one. With his commercial driver’s license, he applied with Saunders Bros. and Irving Forest Products, among other companies that might need a driver.

Sears has had extensive experience in retail, particularly in the hardware business. She headed right for Dexter Supply, a building supply store that will open its doors in Mexico by the end of June.

Bonnie Bouchard, a longtime Rumford resident, wasn’t sure what kind of work she was looking for, but she was pleased to have the chance on Tuesday to learn what was available.

“This gives me a chance to come to one place instead of going all over,” she said.

Dirigo High School senior Alan Austin was trying to get a jump on a summer job. He spoke with Marjorie Hanson of Richardson Hollow and other potential employers.

“Only 27 days until graduation,” he said.

Saunders Bros. manager Charlie Roberts said he took applications from several qualified people for the manufacturing jobs he expects to have available within three months.

Irving Forest Products representative Angela Varnum said 15 people filled out applications on the spot and another 10 took applications with them for her company’s manufacturing jobs.

At the Rumford Hospital booth, representative Priscilla Bickford said a number of people showed interest in several food service job openings, but no one had yet come in with qualifications for one of the many medical openings now available.

Those attending the job fair also had a chance to learn about training programs at the River Valley Technology Center and the Region 9 School of Applied Technology.

Sanford said the Rumford CareerCenter is planning another job fair in late summer or early fall, the time that seasonal jobs change from summer to winter ones. And to accommodate even more people, the next job fair may be presented in two shifts, a couple of hours in the morning, then a couple of hours in the late afternoon or early evening.

“This has been excellent,” she said.


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