FARMINGTON — A steady trickle of job seekers browsed the 70 tables of potential employers Thursday during the first Western Maine Community Job and Resource Fair.

Hosted by the University of Maine at Farmington Career Services and the Maine CareerCenter, the event was held in the UMF Fitness and Recreation Center.

“The employers came from all over the state,” John Wagner of Maine CareerCenter said.

Wagner worked with Peter Osborne of the UMF Career Center to organize the fair. He anticipated there will be another next year.

Representatives from Barclays, a banking call center in Wilton, said they were pleased with the 17 interviews they had scheduled with job seekers. The company has more openings because of recent growth.

Onile Lagasse of Auburn talked with representatives from Verso Paper in Jay.  He was willing to travel to see what opportunities are available, he said.

“It’s about keeping jobs in Maine,” Verso Human Resource Manager Norm Simard said. “People with skill sets are needed.”

There has to be a place for people who don’t go to college if Maine wants to keep young people in the state, he said. He works with Spruce Mountain High School and adult education students to help prepare them for work.

The fair provided a chance to talk with recent college graduates, Stacy Fox of the Department of Health and Human Services said. Openings are not just for people with degrees, she added. Openings range from office assistant to program specialist. 

The department is good about waiving education for work experience, she added.

“People think there are no state jobs,” Patty Ladd of the Maine CareerCenter in East Wilton said. “But there are state jobs available.”

Some develop from retirement or people leaving positions, she said.

Firefighters from Farmington Fire and Rescue were available to talk with potential firefighters. They gave out applications, but most are interested in full-time work, Stephan Bunker said.

From Cianbro to Oxford Casino to Farmington Police Department, a variety of employers were there to discuss opportunities.

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