Staff Photo: John Bohn Ryan George, of Lawrenceville, right, meets Tim Richardson, left, of Cotton States Insurance during a Gwinnett Chamber sponsored job fair Thursday. Governor Nathan Deal headlined a luncheon to kickoff the Gwinnett Chamber's annual Business Expo and Job Fair held at the Gwinnett Center Thursday.
DULUTH -- Theresa Kantor has been looking for a job for the past three years.
"I was laid off. This has been my fifth layoff in the past 10 years," the Buford resident said. "Hard times have been happening a lot longer than they say it has."
On Thursday afternoon, Kantor and hundreds of other job seekers flocked to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce's Business Expo and Job Fair at the Gwinnett Center in the hopes of finding a new career for their future.
"This is my first job fair and I'm hoping to find a new place to start a career," Ryan George of Lawrenceville said. "I've been workforce administering for the last seven years and I have a house that I could not sell, so I'm back here trying to find a way to make ends meet. I think there are some positive leads and some real opportunities."
At the job fair, several local and metrowide companies were present with job opportunities for the correct candidates, including Cotton States Insurance. The company has recently expanded into new territories and needs people to fill the open spaces.
"We're looking to recruit and grow in metro Atlanta," said Tim Richardson, agency manager for Cotton States Insurance. "So far, I think this is a great job fair -- I've been to quite a few and this one is very nice, especially the setup. I've had probably 30 people come by so far and it's only 1:15 (p.m.)."
Other openings included positions at the Gwinnett County Public School system, Micromeritics Instruments, Gem Shopping Network and PawnMart.
Besides the companies, the event offered other sources of help to the attendees.
"There are several head hunters and resources here to help you find a job and other things as well," Kantor said. "I'm feeling more positive now. Hopefully, I'll find something."