Downtown job fair draws big crowds

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The latest employment numbers came out Friday and they're good news for women. After being behind men in the jobs recovery since 2010, they are staying pretty even.

About 175,000 jobs were added in May, and many hope the jobs will continue being filled after hundreds attended Rep. Corrine Brown's annual job and resource fair Monday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

There were pages and pages of jobs that more than 100 companies were looking to fill. The center was full of people looking to get back to work.

"I can see that there's a lot of job opportunities coming to Jacksonville," said Lucille Rafivi, who's been unemployed for 18 months. "I've already got great leads, so I'm so grateful to the mayor and to Congresswoman Corrine Brown for putting this on for Jacksonville."

Mayor Alvin Brown joined Corrine Brown this year for the 21st annual Job and Resource Fair. More than 120 companies and organizations filled the Prime Osborn to meet and greet potential employees.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority was one of the many companies looking to hire.

"It's real for us," said Nathaniel Ford, of JTA. "We have a few dozen positions that have been vacant for some time, so we're in a hiring mode right now, but we're looking for the top and the best of the best."

The jobless rate in May fell to 7.1 percent from 7.3, and since December, the rate fell from 7.9 percent.

This year, men have gained 475,000 jobs and women were neck and neck at 471,000.

The numbers are encouraging to Rafivi, but she said there is still work to be done. She said job fairs are a step in the right direction.

"We have come a long way, and I think there's just more opportunities for women," she said. "However, I still think there's ground that we need to pave."

Monday was just the beginning of the job fair because many of these companies will still be accepting applications. For more information on the companies in attendance, go to

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