Eric Neusel, a 39-year printing press operator, trolled through the Carson City job fair Friday riding the crest of a new life experience.
A man who once dressed casually and wore long hair, he was decked out in spiffy clothes, wearing a tie and bearing signs of recently shorn locks above his smiling face.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been laid off,” he said, noting he spent years as a printer in Carson City and owns a home here.
He said he was in the market for a new job in printing, delivery or landscaping/ horticulture because those were part of his background. But he was up for change if that developed.
Moments later he stepped up to one of the tables for 50 prospective employers at the Community Center gymnasium, Bruce Aerospace of Dayton.
He met Nancy Haffey, who is the controller and human resources person at Bruce, one of several people who spoke highly of involvement in previous city job fairs.
They chatted about opportunities at Bruce, which is seeking about five new employees to go with the 94 currently working at the manufacturer of airplane LED lighting.
“This is the third time we’ve been,” she told someone else before chatting with Neusel, “and we got really good employees in the past.”
She said six or more had been hired after one a year ago. She was at the Bruce Aerospace table with Kim Dillard, Brue material manager, and both said they have been with the company about 15 years.
Others also spoke highly of the job fair put on by Carson City Health and Human Services (HHS), Job Opportunities in Nevada (JOIN) and the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
Among them was Kevin Curtis of Fernley, district sales coordinator with AFLAC and a retired Navy senior chief. He retired two years ago.
His patter with job seekers included mention that AFLAC is a Fortune 500 company, and his table was replete with stuffed versions of the well-known advertising symbol of the company, the duck whose TV commercial line is the firm’s name.
Curtis said he also had been at one of the city’s job fairs last year and hired five he met then. He also mentioned that he worked with Hero2Hired (H2H), a resource represented Friday at the fair.
The H2H program is a program backed by the Department of Defense to help veterans and their spouses navigate the private sector and find work.
At the H2H table, Annie Emprima-Martin was up from Las Vegas and appreciated the opportunity. The employment transition coordinator said it was a new sport for her.
“This is my first time doing a job fair in Carson City,” she said, adding the turnout of employers and jobseekers was impressive.
Gil Yanuck, city chamber leader, Lynn Ellis of HHS and Lynda Gotelli of JOIN all had the same take. Ellis and Gotelli, who hold classes for job seekers on how to search for work at fairs and elsewhere, said several of their students were on hand.
Neusel, for example, had been in Ellis’ recent class. She said it was unusual that three printers had been in that class of 18 and she had suggested looking for ways to transition into other fields.
Yanuck said he thought this fair exceeded the last one he had been to in 2013.
“This is great turnout,” he said. He said one employer on hand told him 200 applications were disseminated and 10 appointments made in the early going. “... So it’s terrific.”
The fair was open from 1-4 p.m. Ellis said 50 employers and five resources to help job seekers had showed up to handle the hundreds searching for work.