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Job fair in Ogdensburg gets strong turnout

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OGDENSBURG — Stephen P. Duprey walked up and down the rows of tables at the Odd Fellows Hall looking for a job.

The occasion Wednesday was state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie’s third annual St. Lawrence County Job Fair. The tables were occupied by representatives of 56 local businesses who were or might be hiring.

Mr. Duprey, 50, of Ogdensburg, has been out of work since March 2010 and would like to be hired soon.“I’m looking for carpentry, general maintenance,” he said, scanning the cavernous, crowded room. “And there’s not a lot there now.”

At the Lowe’s table, Human Resources Manager Brittany M. Adams begged to differ.

Lowe’s, she said, has plenty of sales, cashier and management positions to fill at its north country stores.

“We are immediate hiring,” Ms. Adams said. “We are looking for people right now.”

So is the Ogdensburg electronics firm Ansen Corporation, where entry-level assembly positions frequently are available. In the last year and a half, 120 of the plant’s 180 workers have been hired, according to Timothy W. Perry, human resources director.

“Our funnel is always full,” he said.

That prospect might appeal to 22-year-old Randy J. Tynon of Ogdensburg. He came to the job fair with a general equivalency diploma and a willingness to work.

“I’m looking for any job,” Mr. Tynon said. “But I’d prefer automotive.”

Penski Inc. Staffing President Robert J. Penski said his job placement deals with “the whole gamut” of job searchers — high school and college graduates, unemployeds, skilled and unskilled, management, veterans — looking for work.

The jobs, he said, are out there, and the outlook is improving.

“All is not lost,” Mr. Penski said. “It’s coming back up.”

Nearly 200 people attended the job fair.

“The feedback has been very positive,” said Mrs. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.

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