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Expo provides chance to seek jobs, make contacts

Gwinnett County Public Librarian Dan Le shares resources with Arletta Cunningham of Lawrenceville during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day job fair at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. Le explained to Cunningham how the library can assist locals with finding a new job. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

Gwinnett County Public Librarian Dan Le shares resources with Arletta Cunningham of Lawrenceville during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day job fair at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. Le explained to Cunningham how the library can assist locals with finding a new job. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

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Robert Yates of Duluth seeks a new job during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day job fair at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

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Country Financial Agency Manager Norma West, left, talks with Kalwaski Benyard of Buford who is seeking an additional job during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day job fair at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

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The view from above the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day business tradeshow which featured nearly 150 exhibitors at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

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Andy Garcia, left, chats with BrandBank employees Alicia Wehner, Russell Ashley, center, and Garrett White, right, during the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day business tradeshow and job fair which featured nearly 150 exhibitors at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. The BrandBank staff dressed up to impersonate people from the Duck Dynasty, reality television series on A&E in hopes of gaining customers. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

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Business Development Manager Julie Ivey of the TRC Staffing Services shakes the hand of a woman who is seeking a new job at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce annual one-day job fair at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth Thursday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

DULUTH — Finding a community bank can be hard these days after the Great Recession caused many small banks to shutter.

But one community bank wasn’t hard to spot Thursday, at the Gwinnett Business Expo and Job Fair.

“We are the dynasty of banking, because we’ve been around 108 years,” Rachel Moore, the branch manager of a BrandBank location, said through a fake beard, as she handed out duck calls.

The bank went all out for a “Duck Dynasty” theme for the expo, meant to show off 150 of Gwinnett’s businesses.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Moore said. “People are certainly noticing our booth.”

While many entrepreneurs and business officials networked and checked out the competition at the expo, in the next room at the Gwinnett Center, job-seekers handed out resumes at the job fair.

Lawrenceville woman Danielle Hall shook hands and worked the room, hoping to find a full-time job after working temporary contract jobs for the past six years.

“It’s been a challenge,” Hall said of finding niche employment in her field of organizational psychology. “I did all my education without having worked much in a field, so in some ways I’m overqualified and in some ways I’m underqualified.”

Hall said she has been grateful to find work over the years but wants the stability and benefits that come with a full-time position.

“It’s hard to read,” she said of the benefits of the job fair. “Nothing concrete.”

Mani Krishnaswami, the owner of staffing agency Synergy America, said the Gwinnett job fair is his favorite.

“The most rewarding thing in the staffing industry is if you can help people find a job that can pay the bills,” he said. “You can help the community and make some money in the process.”

Krishnaswami said he sees his company looking for employees that can work in various functions, but people are hiring.

“I encourage people to go the extra mile,” he said.

The free event was expected to draw 5,000 people, making it one of the biggest Chamber of Commerce trade shows in the South.