About 3,000 people lined up for the city’s first-ever jobs fair on Friday – some of them waiting in line for up to six hours – hoping to apply for work with the city, but many left frustrated after learning the only way to apply for a job was to go online.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped by the job fair, expecting a warm welcome from job seekers, but instead ran into lots of ticked-off people. More than 3,000 people showed up for the 55 posted job openings, but city hiring rules require all applications be filed online, so many of those who attended left frustrated at having to stand in line for hours, without being able to actually apply for a job.
City officials were not conducting job interviews, or hiring anyone on the spot. Officials said all job applications for city jobs must be done online, because of city hiring rules and the federal Shakman decree that bans political-based hiring for most city jobs.
“This isn’t really a job fair, it’s just a meet-and-greet,” he said. “It’s nothing, they’re just telling you what’s going on with their business, but they’re not really receiving any applications, or any résumés. It’s nothing.”
One man even dressed in a suit and tie to make a good impression, hoping for at least a preliminary job interview, but said all the effort simply went to waste. “I tried to dress for the part, you know, just to make a good impression, but you don’t have to make an impression in there. They’re just telling you mumbo jumbo.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made an unannounced visit to the job fair, and was approached by some frustrated job hunters. “Excuse me Mr. Mayor, I have a question. I came down here, I stood in line for four hours, expecting to get a job interview, or fill out an application. And I stood in line for four hours to get a flyer telling me to go online,” one woman in line complained.