AMHERST, Mass. - With the region’s economy booming, a record number of employers is expected to attend this year’s series of job fairs at the University of Massachusetts as companies compete for new workers in a tight job market. Campus organizers report a sharp increase in the number of firms and organizations seeking full-time workers, co-op students, and student interns this spring, some from as far away as California, and they say that’s good news for this year’s graduates.
The University’s Campus-Wide Career Fair, set for Wed., Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UMass Campus Center auditorium, for example, already has commitments from 150 potential employers, a new record, according to Tina Acker, career fair coordinator. Last year 120 companies participated in the fair, she says. "The economy has turned for the better and we have seen a huge increase in the number of employers who want to attend the career fair as well as those who want to recruit at UMass," Acker says.
Participation is also up for the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian, and Native American) Career Fair, where the number of participating employers has gone from 29 last year to 60 this spring, says Ruth Carey, fair coordinator. The ALANA fair is held in partnership with the Bilingual Collegiate Program, the Committee for Collegiate Education of Blacks and Minority Students, Diversity in Management Education Services, the Minority Engineering Program, the United Asia Learning Resources Center, and the Campus Career Network. That fair is being held Wed., Feb. 18 from 7-9 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium.
And the Co-op and Summer Job Fair, to be held on Thurs., Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium, showcases internship and other opportunities available to students that help many qualify for good jobs after they graduate, according to Jeff Silver, who is coordinating that event.
The range of firms represented at the fairs runs from corporate giants such as IBM, to companies such as CVS and Filene’s. Representatives will also be present from the Peace Corps, the Americorps program, and the Armed Services. Other fields represented include education, communications, health care, sales and marketing, software, the environment, non-profit and social services, research and development, biotechnology, manufacturing, financial services, and retail, Acker says.