For businesses looking to start or grow in Westchester, access to a highly educated workforce with diverse skill sets is critical. Providing that access is exactly what the Westchester County Association had in mind three years ago when the organization signed a historic agreement with the county’s 15 colleges and universities that launched Recruit Westchester, the WCA’s annual collaborative job and internship fair. Since its inception in 2012, almost 5,000 job seekers have connected with nearly 200 local employers at the fair, designed to streamline the job application process and retain talent in Westchester...
Leaders from Westchester's corporate, government, higher education, and nonprofit sectors cut the ribbon, officially opening Recruit Westchester 2014.
“We had an impressive turnout at Recruit Westchester 2014, with over 100 employers and 1,500 job and internship seekers coming together in one room for networking and on-the-spot interviews,” said Marissa Brett, WCA president. “This fair improves our ability to compete globally by keeping our talent pool right here in Westchester, and showcasing the county’s biggest assets: a highly educated workforce, a collaborative and business-minded higher education community, and a burgeoning economy.”
Held at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, the event convened an array of large and small companies, nonprofit, and government entities seeking job candidates, including financial services and technology firms, hospitals and healthcare organizations, and educational and social service organizations. Employers took notice of the highly qualified candidates engaged in the job and internship hunt.
“This fair is a great way for us to be exposed to a range of candidates—from students looking for an internship, to recent graduates, or older alumni looking for a career change,” said Jannett Avendando, a recruiter for Citrin Cooperman. “I’ve been to a lot of career fairs, and what I’ve noticed about Westchester’s talent pool is that they are eager, and willing to work hard—and work their way up—to achieve their goals.”
Ruizhe Wang had high hopes for her first time out at Recruit Westchester. “This is better than submitting your resume online,” said Wang, a graduate of Pace University with a master’s degree in investment management. “This fair has so many employers and it’s a great way for them to see my face and remember me.”
Members of the WCAs Young Professionals group shared their expertise during a special panel presentation for those just getting started in their careers. “Even if you’ve studied for a particular career, leave the door open for possibilities in another,” said Kevin McCarthy, a commercial real estate broker with CBRE, who began his career in advertising. Other panelists included Shannon Hargrove, director of the Center for Career Development at Manhattanville College; Dean Demott, new business manager at Citrin Cooperman; Katie Pfeifer, service events manager at Volunteer New York!; and Preston Demochet, an attorney at McCarthy Fingar LLP.
College of New Rochelle President, Judith Huntington, said by participating in the fair, the college strengthened its relationships with the private sector, and facilitated growth of the local economy. She also had sage advice for the fair’s attendees—internships really do matter. “The statistics about internship experience are compelling,” said Huntington. “Sixty-five percent of students who obtain paid internships receive full-time offers of employment. So you are all at the right place to launch your careers!”