Big companies looking to hire in Connecticut

FILE - This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. The Labor Department releases its weekly report on applications for unemployment benefits on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Several hiring events are going on around the state this week. These might not be dreams, but big companies are looking to hire right now.

At the Home Depot in North Haven, the garden center is pretty empty right now, but it will get a lot busier in the next couple weeks. That means they need people to staff it.

“Garden season is big for us, so that’s really our focus and we’re excited about it,” explained North Haven Home Depot Manager Joe Townsend.

In every Home Depot across the country today you will see signs and tables set up saying they are hiring. In all, they want to hire 80,000 new employees. Twenty minutes into the hiring event in North Haven, they already had 10 people show up. What makes a good Home Depot employee?

“Great attitude, great smile, positivity. We can teach everything else,” Townsend said.

At the same time, Panera Bread was holding a hiring event at its West Hartford location. That was good news for Hartford resident Taylor Cole. She’s been out of work for months now.

“It’s kind of hard because I don’t have a job and I’m still trying to make ends meet so far,” Cole said.

She is at this hiring event to become a delivery driver.

“We’re hiring, looking to expand our brand a little bit more. We’re going to start doing cafe based delivery,” said Anthony LaLima of the Howley Bread Group, the company that owns the local Panera franchises.

If Home Depot and Panera are not right for you, the Connecticut Department of Labor holds all kinds of workshops about researching jobs, resume writing, and interviewing at their American Job Centers, because we all know the job search can be tough.

“Well, I’ve been looking for a lot of jobs,” said Cole. “It’s been kind of hard a little bit, but I’m hoping I get this job.”

Even if most employers are looking for part-time employees, Home Depot manager Joe Townsend says that work can turn into a full time job.

“We actually have really high retention of people we hire throughout the season, so we’re really looking to build our teams with a lot of the people that we hire throughout the spring season,” Townsend said.

He sees the springtime as a chance to get to know the new part-timers. If they’re a good fit, they might have a career with Home Depot. The lesson is, don’t turn up your nose at part time work. It can be a step in the right direction.

Here is a look at some of the programs being offered at just one of the American Job Centers, This is at the Hamden location at 37 Marne Street:

Veterans’ Workshop: Veterans are encouraged to participate in this workshop that covers the basics of developing an effective résumé. Topics include translating military skills and accomplishments into civilian terminology, understanding federal résumé formatting, and common résumé mistakes to avoid. There is ample time for participants to ask questions of members of the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office for Veterans’ Workforce Development.
March 15 and 22 or 29 (1 ‒ 3 p.m.)
Fundamentals of Résumé Writing: Provides the valuable information you need to create a professional résumé.
March 17 (1 – 3:30 p.m.)

Interviewing Strategies & Techniques: Learn interview preparation and techniques and discover the best way to respond to questions from an interviewer, how to negotiate a “win-win” package, and learn what to say and when and how to say it.
March 24 (9 – 11:30 a.m.)

Over 40 and Looking for Work: Participants will discuss the challenges and employer expectations for older workers and develop strategies to successfully mitigate possible stereotyping that may occur during the hiring process.
March 10 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Job Search Strategies: Attendees will learn useful job search strategies and gain pointers on telephone skills, networking, the hidden job market and interviewing.
March 13 (1 – 3:30 p.m.)

LinkedIn: This workshop uses a lecture/PowerPoint-based format to help participants learn the importance of utilizing LinkedIn networking tools and developing an effective profile page to aid in their job search.
March 27 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

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